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' To the House of Representatives of the United States: 

In transmitting to the House of Representatives the documents 
called for by the resolution of that House, of the 30th January, 1 con 
sider it my duty to invite the attention of Congress to a very impor 
tant subject, and to communicate the sentiments of the Executive on 
it, that, should Congress entertain similar sentiments, there may be 
such co-operation between the two departments of the government as 
their respective rights and duties may require. 

The revolutionary movement in the Spanish provinces in this hemi 
sphere attracted the attention and excited the sympathy of our fellow- 
citizens from its commencement. This feeling was natural and ho 
norable to them, from causes which need not be communicated to you. 
It has been gratifying to all to see the general acquiescence which 
has been manifested in the policy which the constituted authorities 
liave deemed it proper to pursue in regard to this contest. As soon 
as the movement assumed such a steady arid consistent form as to 
make the success of the provinces probable, the rights to which they 
were entitled by the law of nations, as equal parties to a civil war, 
were extended to them. Each party was permitted to enter our ports 
with its public and private ships, and to take from them every article 
which was the subject of commerce with other nations. Our citizens, 
also, bave carried on commerce with both parties, and the govern 
ment has protected it, with each, in articles not contraband of war. 
through the whole of this contest the United States have remained 
icutral, and have fulfilled with the utmost impartiality all the obli 
gations incident to that character. 

This contest has now reached such a stage, and been attended with 
such decisive success on the part of the provinces, that it merits the 
nost profound consideration whether their right to the rank of inde 
pendent nations, with all the advantages incidentto it, in their inter 
course with the United States, is riot complete. Buenos Ayres as- 
'imed that rank by a formal declaration in 1816, and has enjoyed it 
ince 1810, free from invasion by the parent country. The provinces 
omposing the Republic of Colombia, after having separately declar- 

their independence, were united by a fundamental law of the 1 7th 

December, 1819. A strong Spanish force occupied, at that time, 
ertam parts of the territory within their limits, and waged a clestruc- 
ive war. That force has since been repeatedly defeated, and the' 
vhote of it either made prisoners or dt^troved. or expelled from the 


country, with the exception of an inconsiderable portion only, which 
js blockaded in two fortresses. The provinces on the Pacific have 
likewise been very successful. Chili declared independence in 1818, 
and has since enjoyed it undisturbed; and of late, by the assistance of 
Chili and Buenos Ayres, the revolution has extended to Peru. Of the 
movement in Mexico our information is less authentic, but it is, ne 
vertheless, distinctly understood, that the new government hasdecar- 
ed its independence, and that there is now no opposition to it there, 
nor a force to make any. For the last three years the government of 
Spain has not sent a single corps of troops to any part of that country; 
nor is there any reason to believe it will send any in future. Thus, 
it is manifest, that all those provinces are not only in the full enjoy 
ment of their independence, but, considering the state of the war and 
other circumstances, that there is not the most remote prospect of their 
being deprived of -it. 

When the result of such a contest is manifestly settled, the new 
governments have a claim to recognition by other powers, which 
ought not to be resisted. Civil wars too often excite feelings which 
the parties cannot control. The opinion entertained by other pow 
ers as to the result, may assuage those feelings and promote an ac 
commodation between them useful and honorable to both. The de 
lay which has been observed in making a decision on this important 
subject, will, it is presumed, have afforded an unequivocal proof to 
Spain, as it must have done to other powers, of the high respect en 
tertained by the United States for her rights, and of their determina 
tion not to interfere with them. The provinces belonging to this he 
misphere are our neighbors, and have, successively, as each portion of 
the country acquired its independence, pressed their recognition by 
an appeal to facts not to be contested, and which they thought gave 
them a just title to it. To motives of interest this government has 
invariably disclaimed all pretension, being resolved to take no part 
in the controversy, or other measure in regard to it, which should not 
merit the sanction of the civilized world. To other claims a just 
sensibility has been always felt, and frankly acknowledged, but they 
in themselves could never become an adequate cause of action. It 
was incumbent on this government to look to every important fact 
and circumstance on which a sound opinion could be formed, which 
has been done. When we regard, then, the great length of time which 
this war has been prosecuted, the complete success which has attended 
it in favor of the provinces, the present condition of the parties, and 
the utter inability of Spain to produce any change in it, we are com 
pelled to conclude that its fate is settled, and that the provinces which 
have declared their independence, and are in the enjoy ment of it, 
ought to be recognized. 

Of the views of the Spanish government on this subject, no particu 
lar information has been recently received. It may be presumed 
that the successful progress of the revolution, through such a long 
series of years, gaining strength, and extending annually in every di 
rection, and embracing, by the late important events, with little ex- 

[ 90 ] 

ueption, all the dominions of Spain south of the United States, on 
his continent, placing thereby the complete sovereignty over the 
,vhole in the hands of the people, will reconcile the parent country to 
an accommodation with them, on the basis of their unqualified inde 
pendence. Nor has any authentic information, been recently received 
of the disposition of other powers respecting it. A sincere desire has 
Deen cherished to act in concert with them in the proposed recogni- 
ion, of which several were sometime past duly apprized, but it was 
understood that they were not prepared for it. The immense space 
Between those powers, even those which border on the Atlantic, and 
these provinces, makes the movement an affair of less interest and 
excitement to them, than to us. It is probable, therefore, that they 
'iave been Jess attentive to its progress than we have been. It may 
>e presumed, however, that the late events will dispel all doubt of 
he result. 

In proposing this measure, it is not contemplated to change there 
by, in the slightest manner, our friendly relations with eithe** of the 
parties, but to observe, in all respects, as heretofore, should the war 
je continued, the most perfect neutrality between them. Of this 
i'iendly disposition, an assurance will be given to the government of 
Spain, to whom it is presumed it will be, as it ought to be, satisfacto 
ry. The measure is proposed, under a thorough conviction that it is 
in strict accord with the law of nations; that it is just and right as 
to the parties; and that the United States owe it to their station and 
haracter in the world, as well as to their essential interests, to 
tdopt it. Should Congress concur in the view herein presented, 
hey will doubtless see the propriety of making the necessary appro 
priations for carrying it into effect. 


WASHINGTON-, March 8, 



Washington, 7th March, 1822. 

The Secretary of State, to whom has been referred the resolution 
of the House of Representatives of the 30th of January last, request 
ing the President of the United States to lay before that House such 
communications as might be in the possession of the Executive from 
the agents of the United States with the governments south of the 
United States, which have declared their independence: and the com 
munications from the agents of such governments in the United 
States, with the Secretary of State, as tend to shew the political con 
dition of their governments, and the state ol the war between them 
and Spain, as it might be consistent with the public interest to com 
municate; has the honor of submitting to the President the papers 
required by that resolution. 

The communications from the agents of the United States are only 
those most recently received, and exhibiting their views of the actual 
condition of the several South American revolutionary governments. 
No communication has yet been received from Mr. Prevost since his 
arrival at Lima. 

There has been hitherto no agent of the United States in Mexico; 
but among the papers herewith submitted, is a letter recently receiv 
ed from a citizen of the United States, who has been some years re 
siding there, containing the best information in possession of the 
government, concerning the late revolution in that country; and 
specially of the character embraced by the resolution of the House, 



Of the United States. 



Jlccompanyw * the report of the Secretary of State to the President, 
7th March) 1822, in relation to South American uffairs. 

The Secretary of State to John M. Forbes, 

Mr Forbes to the Secretary of State, [extracts.] 

Same to same, [extract.] 

Same to same, [extracts.] 

Same to Mr. Rivadavia, 

Mr. Rivadavia to Mr. Forbes, 

Minute of a conference with Mr. Rivadavia, 

Mr. Rivadavia to Mr. Forbes, 


Mr. Forbes to the Secretary of State, [extracts.] 

Same to same, [extract.] 

Same to same, [extracts.] 

Mr. Prevost to the Secretary of State, [extract.] 

Same to Mr. Joaquin Echeveria, [copy.] 

General O'Higgins to Mr. Prevost, do. 

Mr. Hogan to the Secretary of State, [extract.] 

Act of Independence of Peru, [translation.] 

Mr. Brent to the Secretary of State, 

Mr. Torres to same, [translation.] 

Fundamental law of Congress of Venezuela, do. 

Credential letter to Mr. Torres, [translation.] 

Mr. Torres to the Secretary of State, do. 

Same to same, do. 

Same to same, do. 

Secretary of State to Mr. Torres, 

James Smith Wilcocks to the Secretary of State, 

5th July 1820, 
2d Sept. 1821. 

lltli do. 

28th do. 

14th do. 

15th do. 

17th do. 
6th Oct. 

26th Oct. 

8th Nov. *. 
13th Nov. 
30th June. 
18th do. 
23d do. 
18th Aug. 

10th July. 

20th Feb. 

17th Dec. 1819. 

30th Nov. 1821. 
30th Dec. 
2d Jan. 1822. 
18th do. 
25th Oct. 1821. 

Treaties concluded in the city of Cordova, on the 24th"} 
of August, 1821, between O'Donoju and Iturbide. [ 

Decree of the Regency of Mexico. 
Manifesto to the people of Mexico. 


[90J 9 


From the Secretary of State to Mr. John M. Forbes, at JWw fork. 

DEPAUTMENT OF STATE, 5th July, 1820. 

SIR: The certificate from this Department, which has been made 
out and transmitted to you, constitutes you agent for commerce and 
seamen, for either of the provinces of Buenos Ay res or of Chi^, in 
whichsoever of them Mr. J. B. Provost shall not be. He is at this 
time at Buenos Ayres; but having at one period intimated to the 
President a preference to return to Chili, where he s6me time re 
sided, it is thought due to him to leave the selection of his residence, 
after your arrival at Buenos Ayres, to himself. Should he deter 
mine to continue there, you will proceed, either by land over the An 
des, or in the frigate Constellation, round Cape Horn to Valparaiso, 
and take up your residence there, or at St. Jago de Chili, which is 
understood to be the seat of the revolutionary government of that 
province. If he should prefer to return thither, you will remain at 
Buenos Ayres. 

The commercial intercourse between the United States and those 
tountries, though not very considerable, is deserving of particular 
attention. Whatever accurate information you can obtain, relating 
to it, as well as to the commerce of those countries with other na 
tions, and to their internal trade, will be particularly acceptable; the 
condition of our seamen there will also deserve your notice. The 
performance of these duties will involve also the political relations 
between those countries and the United States, in the progress of 
their revolution, Buenos Ayres and Chili have to the extent of their 
powers, and indeed, far beyond their natural means, combined mar- 
intime operations with those of their war by land. Having no ships 
or seamen of their own, they have countenanced and encouraged fo 
reigners to enter their service, without always considering how far is 
might affect either the rights or the duties of the nations to which 
those foreigners belonged. The privateers, which, with the com 
missions, and under the flag of Buenos Ayres, have committed so 
many and such atrocious acts of piracy, were all either fitted out, 
manned, and officered by foreigners at Buenos Ayres, or even in for 
eign countries, not excepting our own, to which blank commissions 
both for the ships and officers have been sent. In the instructions 
to the late Commodore Perry, which his lamented decease pre vented 
from being executed by him, and a copy of which is now furnished 
to you, certain articles in the Buenos Ayrean privateering ordinance 
were pointed out, particularly liable to the production of these abuses, 
and which, being contrary to the established usages among civilized 
nations, it was hoped would have been revoked, or made to disappear 
from their otherwise unexceptionable, code. These instructiens were 

10 * [ 90 ] 

renewed to Commodore Morris, but the time of his stay at Buenos 
Ay res was so short, and he was there at a moment of so great a 
change in the ruling power of the state, that, although he communi 
cated to the then existing director, the substance of the representa 
tions which Commodore Perry had been instructed to make, we know 
not that it was attended with any favourable result. You will con 
sider the parts of Commodore Perry's instructions, which may be 
still applicable on your arrival in South America, as directed to your 
self; and should you proceed to Chili, will execute them there, n* 
communication upon the subject having yet been made there. Among 
the inconveniences consequent upon this system of carrying on mari 
time warfare by means of foreigners, has been occasionally, and to a 
considerable extent, the enticement of seamen belonging to merchant 
vessels in the ports of Buenos Ayres and Chili, from their engage 
ments; to enlist them in privateers or public armed vessels of those 
countries. In attending to the numerous trials and convictions for 
piracy, which have recently afflicted our country, and cast an unusual 
gloom over our annals, you will remark that a great proportion of 
the guilty persons have been seamen thus engaged foreigners at 
Buenos Ayres, or enlisted in our own ports, in violation of onr laws. 
Whether at Buenos Ayres or in Chili, you will use every exertion in 
your power, consistent with the respect and conciliatory deport 
ment to be constantly observed towards the existing public authori 
ties, to protect the seamen of the United States from all such enlist 
ments, and the owners and masters of the merchant vessels from time 
to time arriving there, from the loss of their men by such means. 

The Commercial Digest of the Laws of foreign countries with 
which the United States are in relation, a copy of which has beea 
furnished you, may suggest to you the nature of part of the informa 
tion which is desirable from South America- 
Political information will be equally acceptable; the more particu 
lar and correct the information of this nature which you can obtain, 
the more acceptable it will prove. Beside the struggle in South 
America for independence, against which Spain is the only opposite 
party, internal feuds and civil wars have peculiarly marked every 
step of the revolutions in progress upon that theatre. As an agent 
and citizen of the United States, the first advice I shall give you. 
is, to observe and report with all the vigilance and discernment 
and penetration and fidelity to your own country, that you possess, 
the movements of all parties, but to make yourself a partisan to none. 
From the documents lately received here, it is apparent, that a ne 
gotiation has been some time on foot between the late government of 
Buenos Ayres and France. It is well known that a negotiation of 
much longer standing has existed between the same government and 
Portugal; nor has Mr. Rivadavia been residing two or three years 
to no purpose in England. To ascertain the real movements of all 
these parties, a neutral position, a neutral heart, and an observing 
mind, are indispensable; in recommending it to your attention, 1 
would add the caution, neither to take upon trust what any mar 

[90] It 

shall tell you, without asking yourself what it is his interest or wish 
that you should believe, nor to give more weight to conjectures, than 
the circumstances under which they are formed will warrant. 

By the latest accounts that we have received, the government, the 
yeongress, and the constitution, of the provinces of La Plata were 
overthrown; the province of Buenos Ay res stood alone, with Don 
Manuel de Sarratea, as governor, at its head; they were in negotia 
tion with General Artigas, of the Oriental Banda, and with Gene 
ral Ramirez, commander of the Monteneros; in what those negotia 
tions will result, we are to learn hereafter, and what their effect will 
be upon the relations of all, with the Portuguese at Montevideo, is 
yet to be seen. Should you remain at Buenos Ayres, we shall ex 
pect full communications from you as frequently as opportunities for 
transmitting them may occur. 

I am, &c. 



JBxtract of a letter from John M. Forbes, Esq. agent of the United States 

at Buenos Jly res, to the Secretary of State, dated 2d September, 1821. 

" 1 shall confine myself to a general summary of leading events 

since my last. The first in order of date, is the total defeat of the 

party of Ramirez, by a wing of the united armies of Santa Fe and 

Cordova, under Don Francisco de Bedoya, substitute governor of 

Cordova The action was fought at Francisco, on the Rio Seco, on 

the 10th of July, and the news was most joyfully received here on the 

21st of the same month. 

" I have great pleasure in announcing to you a new organization 
of this government, which promises great solidity and character, and 
from whose exertions the most important reforms are daily taking 
place. The Departments of State and Treasury were, until the 18th 
of July last, united in one person, Don Juan Manuel de Luca; the 
junta then decreed that these departments should be separated, and 
the Governor called to the first, Don Bernadino Rivadavia, with the 
title of Minister of the Government and of Foreign Relations. Mr. 
Luca remained charged with the Department of Treasury until the 
first August, when he offered his resignation, which was accepted, 
and a complimentary decree of the 8th August published with accept 
ance of the Governor. Don Manuel Jose Garcia, many years diplo 
matic agent of the director at Rio Janeiro, since has been appointed to 
that office. These two gentlemen, Rivadavia and Garcia, both pos 
sess a great share of public confidence; have both acquired experience 
in public affairs by long residences near foreign courts, and they 
both seem animated by a zealous desire to establish order in the various 
branches of the administration, and economy in the public expendi 
ture. This spirit of reform, which was the great cause of the over- 

12 [ 90 ] 

throw of Saratea, by exciting the discontent and violent opposition 
of military men, now fornishes also a hope to the partizans of Pur- 
reydon, who are raising great cla.nor against the new ministers, and 
working diligently to regain their influence. In short, the present 
moment seems to be the crisis of a struggle between public virtue and 
corruption, between a new born impulse of public opinion growing in 
the liberty of the press with that of parliamentary debate, and the 
rotten legacy of the vice royalty, the deleterious influence of military 
patronage. It is a struggle* on the event of which hangs the future, 
liberty and welfare of this province. May Heaven smile on the 
future efforts of virtue and patriotism! 

" Another very important event has occurred since my last report. 
The annexation of the Banda Oriental to the kingdom of Brazils, 
and the recognition of the independence of th^se provinces by His 
Most Faithful Majesty King John. These measures were simulta 
neous and correlative. On the 28th July, Don Juan Manuel de Fi 
guieredo presented himself to this government with the character of 
consul of Portugal and Brazils, and with a letter of credence from 
the Brazilian Secretary of State, acknowledging the independence 
of these provinces, and expressing a hope that these provinces would 
acknowledge any and a!! governments of fact which should be ad 
mitted and obeyed by the people of any neighboring provinces. 
This government received Mr. de Figuieredo with great courtesy, 
and passed over in silence the recognition with its implied condition. 
The whole business, on both sides, appears to me to be quite theatri 
cal. Mr. Figuieredo, a conspicuous actor'in the first scene, has re 
tired suddenly from all political agencies, and from this life! On the 
moYning of the 2ist August, being apparently in perfect health, and 
whilst walking in his saloon, waiting for his breakfast, he fell down 
instantly dead! By order of government his body was opened by a 
surgeon, in presence of some distinguished law officers, and his sto 
mach and bowels found to be in a healthful state, whence it results 
that he died of apoplexy. Soon after Mr. Rivadavia's coming into 
the ministry, to wit, on the 5th August, I was promised a long con 
ference with him on all the objects of my agency, but as he came to 
me in company of Mr. Luca, I could only hold some desultory con 
versation touching cursorily on some topics. Mr. R. then promised 
me for the next Thursday a particular audience, but I am sorry to 
say that the fulfilment of this promise has been delayed from week to 
week to this hour. 

44 1 yesterday saw Mr. Rivadavia for a few minutes, and again re 
ceived an apology for his delay of the long promised conference. I 
took occasion to say that f was aware of his unceasing occupation 
in the arduous place he held, and must conform to his convenience, 
but that there was one subject on which I had been instructed to com 
municate the views of my government, and which, by the informa 
tion daily received, became most imperiously pressing, as interesting 
to the character of this government, which I knew he had so much 
at heart. I then stated that, by late advices from the West Indies, 

[ 90 ] 13 

the horrors of piracy, which had so justly excited universal indigna 
tion, were daily increasing, as well hy the numbers of the vessels 
as by their strength of armament, and the boldness of their nefari 
ous enterprizes; that, recently, a vessel fitted out here under the 
name of the Confederation had changed her name and her comman 
der, and was captured under the commission of Artigas by a French 
frigate and carried into Martinique, from whence the captain and 
a number of the crew, being stamen of the United States, had 
been sent to Philadelphia in a French armed brig for trial: that all 
these vessels were notoriously furnished with several different com 
missions, and according to the privateering regulations of this pro 
vince, they were to be deemed pirates; that one of them had recently 
fired on a government brig of France, arid killed the commander; 
that I was instructed by my government to make the strongest re 
monstrances on this subject. To all these observations, Mr. Riva- 
da\ ia replied that this evil would no longer exist; that there would 
soon be given an order recalling all privateers; that he was fully con 
vinced that the most important object with this government is to ac 
quire the good will and friendship of all other governments, and that 
he was determined to make every sacrifice to attain this great end. 
He said that governments seated in perfect peace and security rea 
soned calmly on these subjects, but that this country had experienced 
so many difficulties in its struggle for independence that the govern 
ment had been compelled to adopt the strongest measures against the 
Spanish commerce, but, said he, " this is now all finished." 

** At the moment I am writing, a salvo of artillery and the most 
extravagant demonstrations of joy through the streets, announce the 
capture of Lima by San Martin's besieging army. If this uews be 
true, it puts the seal to the independence of South America. The 
Spanish royalty, driven from its last hope in these provinces, and 
enlightened by a Representative Government, will, I think, within 
six months, acknowledge their independence." 

Extract of a letter from John M. Forbes, Esq. Agent of the United 
States at Buenos Ayres 9 to the Secretary of State, dated llth Sep 
tember, 1821. 

" Enclosed I transmit an important state paper published here, a 
manifest of the Governor and his Secretary, on the project present 
ed to the honorable Junta in relation to the Congress now assembled 
at Cordova, together with the project submitted, which, as will be 
seen, is intended to lay the foundation for future federation. Messrs. 
Rivadavia and Garcia are pressing with great vigour their system of 
reform, and, by a strong blow at the root, have violently shaken the 
branches of the tree of corruption. Consternation has been spread 
through the ranks of smugglers, by the arrest and close imprison 
ment, the day before yesterday, of Don Fernando Catderon, first In- 

14 [ 99 ] 

liberal salary, lias notoriously patronized the unblushing atrocities 
of the giant smugglers, who have totally dilapidated the revenues of 
the country tor years past The leading man, accustomed to ask 
and obtain every thing of the government, yesterday solicited of the 
governor a mitigation of the imprisonment of Mr. Calderon, and 
perhaps his discharge on bail. The governor consulted Mr. Riva- 
davia on the expediency of listening to the call of mercy. The lat 
ter replied, very respectfully, to the governor, that he certainly had 
the power and the responsibility of any measures he might adopt, 
but that if his Excellency yielded to the solicitations in question, he 
(Mr. R.) must decline any further service as Secretary. This firm 
ness prevailed. The truth is, Mr. Rivadavia, being the father of the 
incipient system of order and virtue, from his growing influence has 
become indispensable to the accomplishment of the, views now cher 
ished by the public opinion. If this system should prevail, the im 
mediate effect of it will be, the prevalence of civil over military in 

Extract of a letter From John M. Forbes, Jlgent of the United States 
at Buenos Jlyres, to the Secretary of State, dated 2,%th September, 


" I have a dispatch from Judge Prevost, containing the Gazettes 
from Lima, published since the revolution there, which I shall 
forward by the first direct opportunity. The night before the last, 
(26th instant) the Governor (Rodrigues) received an official despatch 
jfrom General San Martin, confirming the previous news of the sur 
render of Lima to the liberating army, and accompanied by Gazettes 
giving the details of that important event. Yesterday morning this 
great event was announced to this city by salvos of artillery from the 
fort and national vessels, which were repeated at noon, and at sun 
set. At five o'clock in the afternoon, the governor, attended by his 
ministers, and all the public functionaries, went to the Cathedral to 
attend a te deurn, and in the evening the city was brilliantly illumina 
ted; other public festivities are said to be contemplated, among which 
a ball by the Chilian minister at the Theatre, and another by the 
government, are spoken of. In fact this event is generally considered 
as a finishing blow in the contest for independence. Enclosed, is a 
paper just published here, containing a familiar letter from San Mar 
tin, (addressed I presume to his father-in-law, Mr, Escalada,) signed 
Pepe, which is the famiiiar abbreviation of Joseph; also, various pub 
lic documents relating to the taking possession of Lima, a correspon 
dence between San Martin and the Arch Bishop of Lima, the declara 
tion of the Cabildo, Ace. By these public papers, it appears that San 
Martin has added to his fame by the moderation and respect for 
public opinion which he has manifested on this great occasion. Eve 
ry thing here breathes joy and the brightest hope of the perfection 

[ 90 1 15 

of their political happiness. The Congress at Cordova is now en 
tirely lost in the contemplation of a grand Congress, which it is said 
will be agreed on hy the three great Republics of Peru, Chili, and 
La Plata. Perhaps the sister Colombia may be invited to this family 

** Enclosed, I send you copies of my letter to Mr. Rivadavia, on the 
subject of privateering, or rather of piracy, dated 14th September, 
eopyof that minister's reply, under 15th September, and of a minute 
of a conference I had with him on the 17th of same month. Enclosed 
is also minute of a previous conference with said minister, on the 5th 
August last." 

"Among the important events which have occurred on this side of 
the mountains, I must not omit to notice the total destruction of the 
party of Jose Miguel Carrera, and the public execution of that ac 
tive, intelligent, and extraordinary man. Enclosed I herewith trans 
mit two bulletins published here concerning this event. By the first 
it will appear, that a Colonel Don Manuel Arias had organized a 
revolution in Carrera's band, which he communicated to the Gover 
nor of Mendoza, on the condition of saving his own life and those of 
some of his adherents. By the second, entitled ** Detail of the de 
struction of Carrera," it will be seen that Carrera's party was to 
tally defeated by the Mendozinos on the 31st August, and that, ou 
the 4th of this month, Carrera was shot on the public square at Men 
doza; he died with the most heroic courage, asking for only favor of 
his conquerors, that he might be buried in the same grave with his 
two brothers, who were shot in the same city on a former occasion; 
it would be well for humanity if the story of this event stopped here; 
but, I again have to state another act of savage ferocity: the mur 
dered body of this brave and distinguished man was shockingly mu 
tilated, his head was cut off and exposed in the square of Mendoza; 
his right arm was sent to the Governor of Cordova, and his left to 
the Punta Sari Luis. When these particulars were known here, they 
excited a sentiment of horror; and it has even been said, that if this 
victim of the ferocity of their half savage brethren at Mendoza had 
been sent to this place, even his life would have been probably spared. 

"Carrera, by his great personal resources, had proved the most dan 
gerous enemy of the present state of things in these Provinces, and 
had San Martin failed in Peru, and Carrera had survived that fai 
lure, he would have menaced the tranquillity of Chili; thus his death 
is a great event for the present rulers here, although the manner of 
it may be very revolting to their more civilized breasts." 

" October I, 1821. 

" Since writing the foregoing, there has been a further publication 
of papers connected with the occupation of Lima, containing certain 
proclamations of Generals San Martin and Arenales; this publica 
tion I herewith enclose. The new ministers have very judiciously 
availed themselves of the present moment to propose to the Junta a 
general amnesty, and that all those who have been exiled far dift'ur- 

16 [ 90 "1 

ences of political opinion, should be recalled to the bosom of their 
country; this proposition, so worthy the high-minded cause of the 
present ministry, and so well calculated to conciliate all parties, is 
to he discussed this evening at the Junta. I shall attend the debate, 
seats being assigned to the foreign agents. Among the events tend 
ing to consolidate the moral and physical force of these provinces, it 
is said, that a revolution has taken place in the Entre Rios, against 
the brother of the slain Ramirez. At the head of this revolution is 
a Mr. Mansilla, of whose rank and history I am ignorant. The flo 
tilla of this province is co -ope rating, and further assistance has been 
asked of Lopez, the Governor of Santa Fe. The trade of the Baxa- 
da has been opened in consequence of this revolution. I just now met 
Mr. Rivadavia in the street, and took the occasion to remind him of 
the decree w-hich he had promised to send me on the subject of pri 
vateering: he said, it depended only on him to reduce it to writing, 
which he had not yet had time to do; he has given me reason to hope 
that he will call on me to-morrow; but the Herculean labor of cleans 
ing the Augean stables so entirely occupies him, day and night, I 
sometimes fear he will be quite exhausted before he can accomplish it.'* 

Copy of a letter from John M. Forbes, Esq. United States 9 agent at 
BUMIOS Jiyres 9 to Mr. Hividavia, Minister of Foreign Relations. 


1 4th September, 1821. 

SIR: Although I have been more than ten months in this city, I 
have never until now found a moment, when, under all circumstances, 
I deemed it expedient to lay before this government the sentiments 
and views of that of the United States, in relation fcf many interest 
ing subjects as contained in the instructions I received on my depar 
ture from Washington. On the recent organization of the government, 
I intimated to you the desire to hold a full and frank conference; 
which you had the goodness to promise me at the commencement of 
the past month, but which has been unavoidably delayed by your 
more pressing occupations. 

Appreciating as 1 do the great and efficient efforts now making by 
you in the cause of your country, I should most willingly continue to 
wait your convenience for the proposed conference, were I not impell 
ed by recent information, to press on the early attention of this go 
vernment one of the subjects on which I am instructed by that of the 
United States; I mean those indiscriminate violences which are daily 
committed on the ocean agairtt the peaceful commerce of unoffending 
nations, under the various flags of the South American proviwces. 

It is now a long time since those violences have called forth th 
most [>ointed reprobation of many governments in Kurope and of that 
of the United States. Several governments have made active efforts 

C 90 ] 17 

to repress them by force. These efforts have been unavailing these 
privileged plunderers 

" Can add colors to the chainelion, 

" Change shapes with Proteus for advantage " 

There is nothing fixed, but the blackness of their purpose and the 
boldness of their atrocities. They are furnished with various com 
missions, and navigated by crews of men, without country, without 
morality, and without other ties than those of crime and plunder. 
By the privateering regulations of Buenos Ayrcs, a privateer owned 
here, or commissioned by this government, who shall be furnished 
with a commission from any other prince or republic, even if allied 
with this, " shall be adjudged a good prize, and her captain or com 
mander punished as pirates." It is therefore under the sanction of 
its own laws, that I presume to call the early and efficacious inter- 
. vention of this government to vindicate those violated laws. But, sir, 
it is, above all, from a full faith in those sentiments of honor, that 
love of order and justice which so eminently distinguish every step of 
the present administration, that I derive the strongest hope that this 
call will not be disregarded. The public gazettes recently received 
from the United States contain several well authenticated statements 
of new outrages committed by tiles* 1 freebooters, whose numbers are 
multiplied, and the boldness of their wicked enterprizes increased, 
by their impunity. I will not swell this written communication by 
any extracts from the information received; but hope that at an early 
day, it will be convenient for you to admit me to a personal conference, 
when I shall happy to communicate with you, in that spirit of frank 
ness, which is the best pledge of friendship, as well the facts in rny 
possession, as the feelings of the government of the United States on 
this highly interesting and important subject. 

I avail myself with pleasure of this occasion to renew to you, Mr, 
Minister, the assurances of my most distinguished consideration and 

To the Hon. Mr. RIVADAVIA, 

Minister of Foreign Relations, Buenos Ayres. 

Mr. Ri-vadavia to Mr. Forbes. 


1 5 th September, 1821. 

The Minister of Government and Foreign Relations has had the 
honor of receiving the official note from the agent of the United States 
under yesterday's date, and he considers it as his particular duty to 
make an acknowledgment of the honorable distinction the said agent 
shews towards him. With respect to the principal affair therein con- 

18 [ 90 ] 

taincd, lie can only repeat what he had the satisfaction to make him 
acquainted with in his last interview; which was, that the govern 
ment had adopted every measure in its power to suppress the evils 
committed by privateers of this country towards the commerce of 
neutral nations from the abuse of their commissions. Nevertheless, 
the Minister of Government and Foreign Relations, feeling desirous 
of contributing towards the completion of these measures, as far as 
they are capable of being made perfect, he will be happy to receive 
any further explanation on this subject that the agent of the United 
States may think proper to give him. For which purpose it will be 
taken as an honor, if the agent would take the trouble to call on the 
minister at his house on Monday morning of the 17th inst. at eleven 

The minister of government and foreign relations expresses his 
thanks to the agent fur the distinction he confers upon him, and begs 
to return it by the assurances of his consideration and respect. 



Agent of the United Mates o/JV. A. 

Extract of a minute of a conference with Mr. Rivaddvia, Minister of 


Monday, 1 7 th Sep tember, 1821. 

I received this morning at ten o'clock, by the hands of one of the 
clerk's of the Department, an answer from the Minister of State to 
my letter of the 14th instant, containing an invitation to a conference 
at 11 o'clock at his house. Although the notice was too short to ad 
mit of any preparation, I gladly accepted the invitation, taking with 
me my instructions, including those intended for the late Commodore 
Perry. I found the minister, Mr. Rivadavia, quite alone, and was, 
as always, well received. I commenced my conversation by very 
sincere assurances of the enthusiasm I felt in the present march of 
events, and compliments to the minister on his zealous efforts for the 
establishment of order in the administration, and the formation of a 
sound public opinion in the country. I then observed, that not hav 
ing had time to prepare extracts I had brought my instructions in 
Kctenso, and would ask permission, in frankness and friendship, to 
read certain parts of them in the original language in which they 
were written, which I was aware was well understood by him. I 
t!;en read the assurances of the good will of the United States towards 
these provinces, and the interest they had constantly felt in the suc 
cess of their efforts for independence; I continued through the history 
of our diplomatic correspondence and measures in relation to the 
South American affairs, to all which the minister listened with much 
attention and apparent approbation. When I communicated to him 
the fact, that the United States government had proposed to those of 

I 90 ] 19 

France and England to acknowledge, in concert with them, the In 
dependence of tiueuos Ay res; in reply to my question, he confessed 
his previous ignorance* of that fact. I then continued the forcible ex 
positions in the instructions to Commodore Perry, of the evils and 
horrors of the system of piracy as practised by vessels carrying va 
rious colors of the South American provinces, and stated to him 
that the United States would not acknowledge as legal any commis 
sion granted in blank; which, he said, was perfectly just, and con 
tinued by saying, that he was fully sensible of all the injury which 
had been done to the cause and character of these provinces, and de 
precated as much as any one the atrocities which had been commit 
ted on neutral commerce; that the government had determined on an 
entire change of system, and that, probably, this day a decree would 
be drawn up revoking all privateer commissions, and ordering them 
all to return within a given period. But this decree would be com 
municated to me, when it would be seen if any thing more efficacious 
remained to be done within the scope of the government's authority. 
I observed that the decision of the government was in perfect unison 
\vith the whole system now going into operation, eminently wise and 
politic, and would have a most important influence on the opinion of 
other nations in regard to this country; that, as nothing had so much 
operated to damp the enthusiasm of my countrymen in favor of South 
American liberty as the enormities committed under the Patriot flags, 
so nothing would so effectually tend to reanimate their good wishes 
as the suppression of those crying abuses. I stated to the minister 
the measures adopted by Congress to repress the predatory system, 
and particularly the act of 20th of April, 1815, of v Inch he requested 
and 1 promised a copy. I next read from the instruction of 1 2th Ju 
ly, 1820, the remarks on the subject of commercial preferences, and 
the magnanimous feeling with which the government of the United 
States disclaimed any wish to barter an acknowledgment of the in 
dependence of these provinces for any exclusive advantages in their 
commerce; at the same time their firm reliance that no such exclusive 
privileges would be granted to other nations to the prejudice of the 
United States. On this Mr. Rivadavia assured me that it was the 
firm determination of this government to grant no exclusive privi 
leges of commerce to any nation whatever, and that I might commu 
nicate this decision to my government with an assurance that the 
most complete reliance might be placed on it. The minister pro 
ceeded, that his most decided opinion was, that no measure what 
ever ought to be taken to solicit an acknowledgment of the in-, 
dependence of these provinces by any government; he expressed 
himself in flattering terms of his good will towards me personally ; 
and added, that it would be an abuse of the confidence I had evinced 
towards him, if he w r ere to engage me to make any representations to 
my government tending to that end; and that he was much less dis 
posed to take any such measure towards any government of Europe. 
That such proceeding must operate, if unsuccessful, to the humilia 
tion of the provinces; and, if successful, to mislead the people by per- 

20 [ 90 ] 

stiading them that such recognition was all sufficient to the poli 
tical existence and happiness; that, in his opinion, the most effica 
cious system would be to establish order and wise institutions of go 
vernment throughout the provinces, and to shew themselves worthy of 
thcv " ; ternity of other nations, when it would be voluntarily offered; 
thai /ich voluntary recognition, in every point of view, would he 
much more beneficial than that protection which should result from a 
compromise of honour or interest; that he had told his countrymen, 
de haute voix, his sentiments on the important topic of self-govern 
ment ; that much was to be done, but that he hoped to see the suc 
cessful progress of a sound system of domestic and foreign policy. 
Our conference lasted, with a short interruption, nearly two hours; 
and we separated with assurances of mutual satisfaction. 
An exact minute, taken immediately after the conference. 


BUENOS AYRES, 22d September, 1821. 

SIR: Enclosed I have the honor to transmit a correct copy of the 
act of Congress, passed on the 20th April, 1818, for the punishment 
of certain crimes against the United States, to which act reference 
was had in the conference to which you did me the honor to admit 
me on Monday, 17th instant. 

I pray you, Mr. Minister, to accept the renewed assurances of my 
highest consideration and respect. J. M. FORBES. 

To the Hon. B. RIVADAVIA, Minister, $-c. 

Mr. Rivada-via to Mr. Forbes. 

BUENOS AYRES, 6th October, 1821. 

The minister of government and foreign relations, in consequence 
of the offer made, has the honor to transmit to the agent of the United 
States a copy of the decree which has just been issued by the De 
partment of War and Marine, concerning privateering. 

The minister salutes the agent with his most distinguished consi 



BUENOS AYRES, 6th October, 1821. 
Among the resourscs which the unfortunate rights of war have 

[ 90 ] 21 

rendered lawful, and its object necessary, is privateering. The wars 
of the independence of the provinces of Holland, and of the United 
Statrs of North America, have proved that this kind of warfare is 
thr most advantageous for a country which prepares to defend its 
independence against a more ancient and remote country that lias 
governed it. It is impossible to prevent or repress all the abuses 
which may result from privateering. The government which finds 
itself under the painful necessity of authorizing, and even of encou 
raging it, has only two ways of lessening its illegal consequences, 
and in so far has only two obligations in this respect. The first is, 
to dictate such rules, and take such precautions and guarantees, as 
may correct abuses, not suffering them to pass unpunished. In this 
respect, the government of these provinces has fulfilled its duty, and 
the regulation of privateers proves it. The other obligation is, to 
put an end to this kind of warfare, either when it shall be no longer 
necessary to tfoe object which induced it, or when the effect which it 
produces no longer equals the risks and inconvenience which result 
from it. The government considers these two cases as having taken 
place, and in virtue thereof, it has agreed, and now decrees, the fol 
lowing articles: 

1. In future, no commission of privateering whatever shall be 
granted without a previous solemn publication, expressing the cause 
which obliges the government to have recourse to this measure. 

2. Every individual who possesses any commissions, and shall be 
now in the territory of this province, shall be obliged to present it to 
the minister of marine, within fifteen days from the date of this de 

3. Those individuals who hold privateer commissions, and are in 
countries situated on the other side of the equinoctial line, or on the 
coast of the Pacific, shall be held to present the said commissions at 
the ministry of marine within the term of eight months. 

4. The sureties given shall answer for the fulfilment of the fore 
going articles. 

5. Every commander of a vessel, armed as a privateer in virtue of 
a commission of any one of the governments, which have commanded 
in this capital, on sight of this decree, shall cease to cruize, and 
shall put into port to disarm and return his commission. 

6. Every one who shall contravene the preceding article will in 
cur the pains of piracy. 

7. Every vessel which, after the term of eight months from the 
date of this decree, shall continue to cruise under the authority of a 
commission of the government of this country, shall be treated as a 

8. The minister of war and marine is charged with the execution 
of this decree. MARTIN RODRIGUEZ, 

Minister of War and Marine. 

22 [ 90 ] 

Copy of a letter from John M. Forbes 9 Esq. Agent of the United States 
at Buenos Ayres, to the Secretary of State, dated 8th October, 1821. 

SIR: The detention of the vessel, by which I had prepared to send 
the foregoing despatch, furnishes an opportunity to communicate a 
translation of the promised decree, for suppressing privateering. 
It has not yet heen published here, but will undoubtedly appear in 
the first official register, which will perhaps be printed to-morrow or 
the next day. I hope that the terms of it will prove satisfactory to 
the government of the United States. Although the right is reser 
ved of resorting again to this kind of warfare, yet I hope that the 
restrictions under which it will be renewed will be more efficient to 
guard against those ahuses which have heretofore been so justly and 
extensively complained of. 

By the schooner Essex to sail to-morrow for Providence, I shall 
have the honor to transmit duplicates, together with Jildge Prevost's 
despatch, mentioned in the foregoing. 

I am, &c. 


October l\th, 1821. 

P. S. By this vessel, the Essex, via Providence, I send Judge Pre 
vost's despatch, and a large file of newspapers. The decree against 
privateering was published yesterday in the " Registro OffidaL" 


Secretary of State, Washington, D. C. 

Extracts of 'a letter from J. M. Forbes, Esq. to the Secretary of State, 
dated at Buenos Jiyres, October 26, 1821. 

" I have previously reported the total destruction of the parties of 
Ramirez and Carrera, together with the death of those chiefs, the bar 
barous mutilation of their bodies, &c. By these events the influence 
of this Province over the others is much increased, and by the wise 
course of the present administration, the moral force of a sound and 
exemplary political deportment will be added to the success of their 
arms, and I hope that the day is not far distant, when all the jarring 
jealousies which have hitherto so perniciously counteracted the pro 
gress of civil liberty will be put to silence, and the wise men of every 
section of this country, will be brought to a cordial co-operation to at 
tain the high objects of their political destiny. But much, very much, 
remains to ho done before the general union of the great sections of 
this almost boundless country in any one system of government 
can be effected." 

" In the mean time, Rivadavia and Garcia, firm as they are en 
lightened and patriotic, are pursuing "the even tenor of their 

[ 90 ] 23 

way." They Uave added public credit to the other sinews of war 
which this province before possessed, by repaying with great punctuali 
ty in gold several loans, (a thing without example in the history of this 
revolution;) they enjoy now to so great a degree the confidence of the 
community, that I believe they could borrow, to any reasonable 
amount, for an immediate exigency. It is said, also, that an entirely 
new systeai of finance is agreed on, and will appear in a few days. 
By this tariff, as it has been represented 10 me, the duties, with a very 
few exceptions, will be ad valorem, and will vary from five to fifteen 
per cent. Every possible measure is taken to prevent smuggling, 
and public opinion and morality are cherished by the government. 
If, therefore, Buenos Ayres, in all the darkness of her most gloomy 
period, public sentiment paralyzed by deadly dissensions, and public 
resources completely dilapidated, has been able to struggle success 
fully against the machinations of the other provinces, it is not too 
rash to expect that when she fights with a two fold armament of rea 
son and force, seconded by a vigorous public credit, the v ictory must 
eventually be hers. The most deplorable result, however, of these 
continued agitations, is the necessity of continuing an onerous milita 
ry establishment." 

"The most alarming state of agitation prevails in the neighbour 
ing kingdom of Brazil. It was some days since confidently report 
ed, otrthe authority of Captain McLean, of the British government 
brig Braver, in six days from Rio to Monte Video, that Prince Don 
Pedro, was to have been crowned king of Brazil, on the 13th of the 
present month. Subsequent accounts contradict this fact, and it is 
now no longer believed. It is, however, well known that the pub 
lic mind there, is in a most feverish state, and should civil war burst 
forth, it would be the signal of the emancipation of a numberless 
horde of slaves, and the most horrid scenes of blood and devastation 
would overwhelm that kingdori, and eventually threaten these pro 
vinces, where it would find easy victims in the scanty white popula 
tion here. The progress of this all-destroying flame could only be 
arrested by the Indians, and, in such a conflict, this delightful country 
would be totallv lost to civilization." 

Mr. Forbes to the Secretary of State. Extract. 

BUENOS AYRES, 8th Mv. 1821* 

" Since my last respects, we have received news from Lima and 
Chili, by which it appears that the royalist army, which had evacua 
ted Lima on 6th July, under La Serna, had returned on the 22d Au- 
fust under command of Canterac La Serna remaining sick at 
auja; the strength of the returning army was between three and 
four thousand men; the official accounts say, that they avoided an 
engagement with San Martin, bat I have seen several private let^ 

24 [ 90 ] 

ters, and one i'roni a citizen of the United States, who was two days 
in San Martin's camp, in view of the royalist troops, and who states 
that San Martin's force was much superior, and extremely anxious to 
give hattle; but that San Martin retired, and permitted the unmo 
lested march of the royalists into Callao. The motive of such a pro 
ceeding is generally deemed strange and incomprehensible; but it 
occurs to me, that San Martin being sure of eventually forcing the 
garrison of Callao, augmented as it is, to a capitulation, prefers to 
continue his influence by protracting the military conflict, until the 
civil organization of this new-born republic shall be completed, ra 
ther than to put down the remnant of royal troops, and leave the 
country to the agonies of conflicting factions; or, in a few words, to 
make himself at his own choice, King, Dictator, or Director; he has 
at present taken the head of the civil and military power with the 
title of Protector. All accounts agree in the enthusiasm for inde 
pendence prevailing in Lima. On the late return of the royalist 
troops, it became necessary to imprison twelve hundred old Spa 
niards, as 'tis said, to preserve them from the popular fury. I have 
conversed on these events, with several gentlemen well acquainted 
with Peru and Lima, and particularly with a sensible friar native, 
and until recently resident at Lima, who agrees in the general 
opinion, that the return of the troops to Callao is a most fortunate 
event, inasmuch as it places the termination of the war in the hands 
of San Martin; whereas, had La Serna kept the country, and in 
creased his forces, he might have continued the war for a very Jong 
time. I send enclosed a bulletin issued on the subject, by which you 
will be able to see and appreciate events in their detail. 

" Of this province I have only to say, that there are still active, 
but occult efforts making to overturn the present administration, and 
bring the Puyrredon party into power." 

Extracts of a letter from John M. Forbes, Esq. Agent of the Uni 
ted States at Buenos Jlyres, to the Secretary of tate, dated 13th 
November, 1821. 

<* Since my last, we have the important news of the surrender of 
Callao; I send enclosed the Bulletin published here, by which you 
will see the particulars of the capitulation. Private letters state 
that Canter ac's army was much harassed on its retreat, arid were 
still pursued. Jt is said that eight hundred of his army had joined 
that of San Martin. It was thought that there would not remain five 
hundred men to join La tierna. I have seen a private letter which 
states that when the report reached Lima of Cantarac's approach, 
funds to the amount of live or six hundred thousand dollars were 
embarked on board the ships at L'Ancon. Lord Cochrane had been 
for some time making every exeriori to procure money to pay off the 
crews of his ships, but without effect. 

[ 90 J 25 

On hearing that this amount was on board the different 
transports, he repaired to Ancon with theO'Higgins and Esmeralda, 
and forcibly took possession of the whole sum, in defiance of the 
strong representations of the general, and immediately paid the ar 
rearage due to his men. Report snys, that he has not dared to put 
his -foot on shore since he took this violent measure. 

November \6th, 1821. 

The " Registro Official" No. 13, published yesterday, contains 
the resolution of the honorable Junta on the subject of general am 
nesty, and oblivion of political acts and opinions, together with a de 
cree of the governor, by which all those who have been exiled under 
the special powers vested in the Executive by tiie decree of 6th Oc- 
totyer, 1820, and all who have voluntarily absented themselves to 
avoid the evils of political agitation, may forthwith return without 
passports: only nine persons are excepted from this amnesty, and 
they are not named. 

It is said that an officer has, arrived here sent by the governor of 
Tucuman, charged to solicit military aid to deliver that province 
and its vicinity of the presence of the royalist troops, and at the 
same time to declare a perfect coincidence of opinion with that put 
forth by this government on the subject of the confederation. Every 
thing continues to go on well here. Enclosed! send a printed paper, 
entitled "-Dictamen de un Jlrribeno," (which means citizen of the 
interior provinces.) It goes to maintain the inexpediency of a con 
federation at present, which is the ground taken by this province." 

Extract of a letter from Mr. Prevost* agent of the United States, in 
< outk America, to the ecretary of *'tate, dated 

" ST. JAGO DE CHILI, June 30, 1821. 

" In my last, I mentioned the departure of Lord Cochrarie from 
Huacho, with 600 troops, for the purpose of landing them some 
where to the southward of the capital, so as to intercept the supplies 
from that quarter. It is now ascertained, that his lordship has di 
rected this force" to a different point, with objects distinct from those 
contemplated by the General. After proceeding to Pisco and pillag 
ing that place, he went to Arica, where there was a -considerable 
quantity of merchandise in deposite for the market of Lima, took 
possession of the town at the point of the bayonet, and as much of 
the moveable property as he could grasp. It is the third, or fourth 
time, different sections of the coast have been thus distressed by a 
mode of warfare injurious to the cause, always at variance with that 
strictly enjoined and as rigidly adhered to by the General. In addi 
tion to which, he has lately committed outrages upon the British 
flag, by impressing seamen, and by detaining the vessels from which 
they were taken, in order to use them as transports. These acts, of 

26 [ 90 ] 

course, are disavowed by the government, but it has given rise to a 
correspondence which threatened a serious result. Among other 
subjects, that of the blockade was introduced, the one insisting upon 
its nullity in toto, if contemplated to embrace any portion of the 
coast not covered by an actual force; the other denying the conse 
quence, and maintaining the sufficiency of the force. Although this 
government might have sustained the position assumed, by recurring 
. to British practice, yet, in their situation, it was neither prudent or jus 
tifiable to assume any equivocal grounds, particularly on such a sub 
ject; and 1 thought it proper-, therefore, to present a note to the Se 
cretary of State, asking the truth of the case, and stating specifical 
ly the principle to be recognized. No. 1 is a copy of mine, and No. 
2, of that of the Director, written in our language and in his own 
hand writing. I had hoped the correspondence, but the delays are 
such here in all the public offices, that I cannot avail myself of them 
for this opportunity; it is not now, however, important, except for the 
greater satisfaction of the President, inasmuch, as an order has 
been issued in conformity with his note, and conveyed to Sir Tho 
mas Hardy, who acquiesced in its propriety. There have been up 
wards of a dozen English merchantmen under capture, some of which 
have already been condemned. 

" Nothing has reached us from the army later than the 4th of May. 
when San Martin had resumed his former station at Ancon, with 
in a few leagues of the capital. It is feared here, that the absence 
of Lord Cochraneon the expedition I have already referred to, may 
retard the views of the General, if not wholly defeat the object of 
his approach. Bolivar has sent a considerable force to Guayaquil, 
seven hundred of which have already landed at the place, from 
whence they are to march for the Congress of Quito." 

Mr. Prevost to Mr. Joaquin de Echeveria, Secretary of State of the 

Republic oj Chili. 

ST. JAGO DE CHILI, ISthJune, 1821. 

SIR: I understand that there is a letter in town from Sir Thomas 
Hardy, addressed to the British merchants of this place, in which it 
is stated, that this government considers the whole coast of Peru,, 
south of the capital, as under blockade, although there is no force 
stationed before any one port, except that of Callao. This informa 
tion is so much at variance with the impressions I have uniformly 
received, during my residence here, that I must believe some mistake 
has arisen either with my informant, or with the British admiral. 

Will you therefore allow me, Sir. to ask from you the fact on this 
subject? It is a question of great moment; one of peculiar interest 
in the United States, since our last contest with Great Britain, and 
erne upon which 1 am anxious that there should exist no difference of 

[ 90 1 27 

opinion. The principle, upon whicb the right of exclusion from any 
specific port is founded, is the temporary sovereignty acquired by the 
presence of the force of one belligerent, competent, as to the other, to 
control the mouth of such port, or harbor. Hence, it is obvious, that, 
to the legal exercise of the rights growing out of the blockade, the 
force must be permanent in its station. 

There will offer a conveyance to the United States, in a few days, 
of which I could wish to avail myself, as well to satisfy the President 
of the strict adherence to principles maintained by his Excellency the 
Supreme Director, as to defeat the effect of rumors that must have a 
pernicious tendency at home. 



8'ry of Mate of the Republic of Chili, 

General O'Higgins to Mr. Prevost. 

June 23, 1821. 

MY DEAR SIR: I am very much obliged to you for the indication 
-which favors me with your note of this day. You might be sure of 
my resolution about the necessity of an actual force to be stationed 
at the sight of the ports that are to constitute the blockade. This 
very moment I am answering sir Thomas Hardy about this point, 
declaring that must be considered as such to the ports from Pisco to 
Ancon, and orders will be despatched to the vice admiral, lord Coch- 
rane, and general San Martin, by the first safe conduct. 

By next Tuesday's post to Valparaiso, will be sent to you, by the 
Minister of State, all what has occurred about the mattery mean 
while I remain vours most sincerely. 


Extract of a letter from Mr. Hogan, commercial agent of the United 
States at Valparaiso, to the Secretary of State 9 dated 18th August, 

"I have now the honor to inform you that, on the 13th instant, 
a despatch vessel arrived here from Callao, which place she left on 
the 23d ult. with advices to this government, of the surrender of Lima 
to General San Martin, and of the inhabitants having sworn to the 
independence of the place. On the 12th July, the Spanish troops 
proceeded to the mountains with their General, who first placed a 
garrison of two thousand men in Callao, which place had not sur 
rendered when the despatch came away, but could not be expected to 
hold out, as there was not more than a week's provision in the for 
tress, which was to be attacked by land and by sea from the squad 

28 [ 90 ] 

ron. The sufferings of the people in Lima tor want of bread -stuffs 
and other foot! had been great; but there is no public gazette issued 
explanatory of the proceedings, and that private letters are short and 
unsatisfactory, it is impossible to say to what extent they had carried 
their attachment to royalty, or, rather, their opposition to being con 
quered by the forces of Chili, which they had even treated -and con 
sidered as an inferior people, not entitled to the enjoyment of equal 
rights with themselves. To expect them to submit tamely to the dic 
tation of this slip of country is, I believe, more than will be realized, 
although there can never be any doubt of the country of South Ame 
rica facing the Pacific ocean being forever tree from the government 
of old Spain. 

" An additional export duty of 15 per cent, is laid by this govern 
ment upon all articles shipped from this port for Lima; many vessels 
are in port ready to depart as soon as permitted. The Constellation 
was at Callao, and may (by report only) be expected here soon. 

*' Mr. Prevost is expected from Santiago, to embark by the first 
vessel from Lima. I send this letter in duplicate by two ships bound 
this day to London, in the hope that either may be put on board of 
some vessel bound to the United States. I have also written to Mr. 
Rush by them, requesting he may communicate the information by 
the earliest opportunity. 

" Soon after my arrival here I wrote to Captain Ridgely, request 
ing he would use his endeavors to inform you, by way of Panama, of 
the fall of that important section of South America, which I doubt 
not will be the first communication you will receive." 




15th July, 1821. 

The Senors who compose it having yesterday assembled in the most 
excellent Senate, with the most excellent and most illustrious Senor 
the Archbishop of this Holy Metropolitan Church, the prelates of the 
religious convents, titulars of Castile, and various neighbors of this 
capital, for the purpose of fulfilling what had been provided in the offi 
cial letter of the most excellent senor the general in chief of the 
liberator army of Peru, D Jose de San Martin, the contents of 
which were read; and persuaded thereof, reduced to what per 
sons of known probity, learning, and patriotism, who inhabit this 
capital, would express, if the general opinion for independence had 
been resolved on, which vote would serve as a guide to the said gene 
ral for proceeding to take the oath: All the sefiors agreeing for them 
selves, and satisfied of the opinion of the inhabitants of the capital, 

[ 90 ] 29 

said, that the general will was decided for the independence of Peru 
of the Spanish dominion, and of any other foreign dominion whatever, 
and that they would proceed to its sanction by means of the corres 
ponding oath; it was compared with a certified copy of this act to the 
same most excellent Senor, and tiie Sefiors signed it'. 


BARTOLOME, Archbishop of Lima. 








ANTONIO PADILLA, Syndic, Proc. gen. 

Mr. Brent 9 Charge des Affaires of the United States at Madrid, to the 
Secretary of State. 

M AD RID , 1 Oth July, 1821, 

SIR: The late session of the Cortes had far advanced when most of 
the Deputies from Mexico arrived. They had been detained two months 
at Vera Cruz by the commander of the frigate Pronta, and were at 
last obliged to make the best of their way to Spain in foreign vessels, 
running every risk, and incurring great expense. They had not 
been long in Madrid when they began to press their claims, and on 
the 3d of May, count Tore-no, one of the most distinguished mem 
bers of the Cortes of Old Spain, a friend, as is supposed, to their 
cause, made a motion in the Cortes, that a special committee be ap 
pointed, composed of deputies of Ultramar and Kurope, to consider 
of, and propose, conjointly with the Executive, such measures as 
they should deem most proper " to terminate the dissentions prevail 
ing in the various parts of America.'' This motion was agreed to, 
and the committee appointed. 

While this committee were engaged in their important duties, the 
news was received, about the beginning of June, of the insurrection 
of Iturbide, and the form of government proposed by him to be adopt 
ed, copy of which I transmit, (marked A,) and, in consequence of 
a resolution offered by an American deputy, the ministers appeared, 
on the 4th June, before the Cortes to give an account of the occur 
rences that had taken place in New Spain. The American deputies 
availed themselves of this occasion to shew to the Cortes, and Execu 
tive, the impracticability of the provinces of America being governed 
as those of the Peninsula, according to the provisions of the constitu 
tion, on account of their great distance Iron* the Metropolis; proved 
the necessity of adopting prompt and eiiicacious measures, and press- 

30 [ 90 ] 

cd the government and committee to come to an early decision; They 
then moved that the government should he requested to direct, with 
out delay, the Vice Roy of Mexico to inform Iturhide that the Cortes 
were occupied in projecting a plan of government for America, and 
propose a suspension of hostilities until the resolution should he final 
ly made by the Cortes and Executive. It was stated that, should 
this step he taken, they were perfectly convinced that Iturbide, and 
those under his standard, would suspend hostilities the moment they 
knew that the deputies of New Spain had arrived at the capital m 
time to he ahle to make the " just reclamations of those Spaniards." 
This was not agreed to. A resolution was then offered and adopted, 
Directing' that the minister of Ultramar, "in consideration of the 
state of New Spain, should propose the measures he might think pro 
per, whilst the Cortes were occupied in taking radical ones for its 
complete pacification." 

The committee labored with great assiduity, and had various con 
ferences with the ministers, who, at first, coincided in the opinions 
advanced, and in the arrangement proposed by it to be adopted in 
regard to Spanish America, and which would have been satisfactory 
to the American deputies. When, however, it wa's laid before the 
king, he was strenuously opposed to it, on the ground, as lie inform 
ed them, that the arrangement contemplated would be a violation of 
the constitution; that the public opinion was not prepared for it; that 
it was against the interest, both of the Peninsula and America; and 
finally, he spoke of the .opposition that might be made to it by foreign 
powers, since they had not been consulted. In consequence of this, 
the accord between the ministers and committee ceased; and, as ac 
cording to the resolutions of count Toreno, which gave rise to the 
appointment of the committee, it being unauthorized without the con 
currence of the Executive to offer any plan, none was proposed to 
the Cortes. The committee made their report to the Cortes on the 
24th June, (copy marked B.) and state that the government, not be 
lieving that the moment had arrived of convenience and necessity 
for the. adoption of certain measures, they can do nothing more than 
excite the zeal of the ministers, to the end that the wished-for moment 
may be accelerated, and recommend that the Executive should be 
pressed " to present to their deliberations, with the greatest despatch, 
the fundamental measures they may think proper, as well for the just 
and complete pacification of the revolted provinces of America, as to 
secure to all of them the enjoyment of a firm and solid happiness." 

The disappointment aiid vexation of the American deputies at this 
result, was proportionate to the flattering hopes that had been excited 
by the unanimity of sentiment that prevailed at the first conferences 
of the ministers and committee. They then determined to present, 
themselves, a plan to the Cortes, having the object in view, and the 
propositions (copy marked B) were made on the 25th June; which, 
in substance, are the same as those that had at first met the approba 
tion of the ministers. 

[ 90 ] 31 

These propositions are, that there shall he three divisions made of 
America. In each a cortes, having the powers delegated by the 
constitution to the general cortes, with the exception of the 2d, 3d,4th 
5th and 6th powers; that part of the seventh relative to the sanction of 
treaties, and the second part of the 27th power. In each division, a 
delegate appointed by the king, from among the persons most distin 
guished for their high qualifications, not excluding members of the 
royal family, removeable at his will, who shall exercise, in the name 
ef the king, the executive power, to be inviolable with respect to the 
American cories, and only responsible to the king and general cortes. 
In each four ministers: of the interior, of finance, of grace and jus 
tice, and of war and marine. In each a supreme tribunal of justice, 
and a council of state. The commerce between the peninsula and 
America, to be considered as from one province to another. And the 
inhabitants of the latter to have equal eligibility with those of the 
former to all public employments. 

New Spain binds herself to pay 200 millions of reals in six years, 
and contribute annually 40 millions of reals to the support of the 
navy. The other parts of America to contribute in the manner that 
shall be subsequently arranged. New Spain will also pay all the 
debt contracted within its territory, and all public property to be 
long to it, On the sitting of the 25th June, two of the deputies of 
fered an amendment to the 5th article, having for object to prevent 
the appointment of delegates being conferred on any of the royal fa 

These propositions were preceded by an expose read in the cortes, 
a copy of which I transmit herewith. In it they state that "they de 
sire the constitution which ought to make them happy* hut which, 
in the actual state of things, they consider to be a beautiful theory, 
that can only be reduced to practice in the peninsula The Ameri 
cans are freemen, are Spaniards have the same rights as the penin 
sulars. They are acquainted with, and have sufficient virtue to sup 
port them." 

The measures recommended by the committee to request the go 
vernment to present a plan at an early period has been acted upon, 
as you will perceive by the king's speech, in which he says that his 
government, "urged by the cortes to propose the measures they may 
think proper for their welfare, on a consideration of the state of those 
countries, will do so immediately, and with all possible generosity." 
These will, without doubt, be proposed on the meeting of the cortes 
extraordinary, which the speech of the president of the cortes to the 
king will have shewn you is to take place. It is supposed that its 
convocation will not be delayed longer than the first of October, if 
so long. 

You will perceive that the deputies do not demand an acknow 
ledgment of independence, and pretend not even to aspire to it; and 
they have declared in the cortes, on the 4th June, that if the revolu 
tionists desire independence, it is because means have not been de- 

32 [ 90 ] 

vised that should make the welfare of those provinces compatible 
with their union with the peninsula. 

The commissioners of Bolivar, who are still here, on the contrary, 
insist u]H>n the acknowledgment of their independence as the hasis of 
any arrangement with Spain. Nothing has been concluded between 
them and this government, and all negotiation is suspended. 

It is diiiicuit to conjecture what will he the determination of the 
cortes and the executive on this great and interesting question, when 
A\e consider on the one hand that they cannot be wholly blind to the 
just claims, the strength, and resources of America and view, on the 
other, the prejudices and iliiherality that still exist in a high de 
gree in the executive, and a great portion of the member's of the 
cortes, and the observation in the king's speech, "that the Spaniards 
of both hemispheres ought to be persuaded there is nothing he desires 
so much as their felicity, -founded in the integrity of the monarchy, 
and in the observance of the constitution." 

As far as I have been able to -form an opinion, it is, that the fo 
reign powers during the agitation of the American question, have 
endeavoured to pi-event any arrangement between the parties. 

On the 9th instant 1 received a note from Mr. Ilavcnga, one of the 
commissioners of Bolivar, requesting an interview with me, (copy 
marked D) to which 3 immediately replied, (cony marked E,) stating 
that L would receive him that very evening. 

In this interview he spoke of his mission to Spain; he said, that 
when he left Colombia, he had no idea of meeting with the least ob 
stacle; he had calculated to a certainty that his object would imme 
diately be accomplished. He spoke of the ignorance of this country 
of the real state of Spanish America of their illiberality and their 
prejudices with warmth, and particularly so of the expression of the 
king, in his speech respecting Spanish America. He calculated, he 
said, upon the friendship of the United States, to promote the inde 
pendence of the Republic of Colombia; he had a full conviction that 
he roii Id rely upon it, Mr. Monroe, when Secretary of State, had 
informed him that all the ministers of. the United States in Europe, 
had instructions to advance the acknowledgment of their indepen 
dence by foreign powers, 

1 sympathized with him in the unpleasant situation in which he 
was placed, and feared that the sentiment in Spain was not as favor 
able as could be desired. He was perfectly justified, 1 said, in -'e- 
lying upon the good dispositions of the United States. It was their 
interest and their sincere wish, that the acknowledgment of the in 
dependence of Spanish America should he accelerated. The United 
States had not only been imu-e forward than any other power, in pub 
lishing to the world their \\lshcs with respect to her, but had accompa 
nied them with actions, which certainly afforded the best proof of their 
sincerity, and among them I, adverted to the iuosnagr of thePresident to 
the Congress of the United St f it< j s, at liie cifinnviicerneut of its last 
session in which, alluding to the proposed' n< between the late 

colonies and Spain, the basis of which, if entered upon, would be the ac- 

[ 90 ] 33 

knowlcdgment of their independence; he says, " to promote that 
result by friendly counsels, including Spain herself, has been the uni 
form policy of the government of the United States." 

The friendship of the United States, he said, was very grateful to 
the Republic of Colombia, and he hoped and expected, that, at the 
commencement of the next meeting of Congress, the acknowledg 
ment of its independence would be decided upon; the moment had ar 
rived when all the powers of the world would see the propriety of it. 
He calculated that the United States would be the first to take this 
step; hoped to see a confederacy of Republics throughout North arid 
South America, united by the strongest ties of friendship and inter 
est; and he trusted that I would use my exertions to promote the ob 
ject he so much desired. 

I heartily concurred with him in the hope, that all governments would 
resolve to adopt a measure so conformable to justice, joined with him 
in the agreeable anticipations of the progress of free principles of go 
vernment, of theintimat^nion arid brilliant prospects of the states of 
our new r world. 1 presumed, I said, it was not necessary to bring to 
his mind, the high interest felt by the United States in their welfare 
an interest in which 1 deeply participated, and desired, as much as h 
possibly could, the happiness of our Spanish American brethren. 
What would be the determination of the United States, at the period 
of the commencement of Congress, it was impossible for nae to foresee; 
whether they would consider it a seasonable moment for doing that 
which was so much desired, was a point I could not resolve. 

In this interview, Mr. Ravenga confirmed to me what I had pre 
viously learned, that his instructions do not authorize any terms 
short of the acknowledgment of independence. I observed to him 
that 1 presumed no arrangement would be made under them that 
might have an injurious bearing on the commercial interests ot the 
United States. To this his reply was, that none would be entered 
into by the Republic of Colombia, with Spain, that would not be per 
fectly reciprocal. 

I have the honor to be, &c. &c. 



ARTICLE 1. The religion of New Spain is, and shall be, the Ro 
man Catholic Apostolical, without tolerating any other. 

2. New Spain is independent of Old Spain, and of every other 
power, even on our continent. 

3d. Its government shall be a moderate monarchy, according to a 
Constitution peculiarly adapted for the empire. 

4. Ferdinand the VII. shall be emperor; and if he do not come in 
person to Mexico to make oath before the Cortes, within tho time pre 
scribed by them, the most serene infants Don Carlos, Don Francisco 

34 I 90 ] 

de Paula, the aroh-dukc Charles, or some other branch of the reigning 
family, shall be appointed in his place by the Congress. 

5. Until the meeting of the Cortes, there shall be a junta which 
shall have their union for its object, and the compliance with this 
plan in its whole extent. 

6. Said junta, which shall be styled governmental, must be compos 
ed of the deputies mentioned in the official letter of the vice-roy. 

7. Until Ferdinand VIFs arrival in Mexico, and his taking the 
oath, the junta will govern in the name of his majesty, in virtue of 
the oath of fidelity taken by the nation; but until his majesty hath 
sworn, any orders lie may give shall be suspended. 

8. If Ferdinand VII. should not deign to come to Mexico, the 
junta or regency shall govern in the name of the nation, until it be 
resolved who shall be crowned emperor. 

9. This government shall be sustained by the army of the three 
guarantees, of which mention shall be made hereafter. 

10. The Cortes shall resolve whether jjjte junta shall continue, 
or a regency substituted in its place, until the arrival of the person 
who is to be crowned. 

11. The Cortes shall immediately establish the constitution of the 
Mexican empire. 

12. All the inhabitants of New Spain, without distinction of Afri 
cans, Europeans, or Indians, are citizens of this monarchy, with 
eligibility to all employments, according to their virtues or merits. 

13. The person of every citizen and his property shall be respected 
and protected by the government. 

14. The clergy, secular, and regular, shall preserve all its privi 
leges and pre-eminences. 

15. The junta shall take care that every branch of the state remain 
without any alteration, and all the officers, political, ecclesiastical, 
civil, and military, on the same footing as at present. They alone 
shall be removed who decline entering into this plan, substituting 
in their place those persons who are most distinguished for their vir 
tue and merit. 

16. A protecting army shall be formed, under the title of the three 
guarantees,because it takes under its protection: 1st. The preservation 
of the Catholic religion, co-operating, with all its efforts, that there 
may not be a mixture of any other sect, and attacking all the enemies 
who may injure it. 2d. The independence under the system already ma 
nifested. Sd.The intimate union of Americans and Europeans,guaran- 
tying such fundamental bases of the felicity of New Spain, each indi 
vidual, from first to last, will prefer sacrificing his life than permit 
the infraction of any of them. 

17. The troops of the army shall observe the most strict discipline, 
according to their regulations, and the chiefs and officers shall re 
main on the same standing as at present, that is, in their respective 
classes, with eligibility to such public employments as are vacant, or 

vacate in consequence of those who may not wish to follow their 

[ 90 ] S5 

career, or any other cause, and those which may be considered as ne 
cessary or convenient. 

18. The troops of said army shall be considered as of the line. 

19. In the same light shall be considered those who may after 
wards adopt this plan. Those who do not defer it, those of the for 
mer system of independence, who shall immediately join said army, 
and the countrymen who may desire t& enlist, elial! be considered as 
troops of national militia, and the form of each, for the interior and 
exterior security of the empire, shall be dictated by the cortes. 

20. The employments shall be conceded to true merit, in virtue of 
references to the chiefs, and in the name of the nation. 

21. While the cortes are assembling, the proceedings against crimi 
nals shall be according to the Spanish constitution. 

22. For conspiring against the independence criminals shall be 
imprisoned until the cortes decide the greatest punishment, next to 
'* lesa Majestad Divina." 

23. A strict watch shall be kept over those who may attempt to 
create disunion, and they shall be reputed conspirators against the 

24. As the cortes which are about to be installed are to be constitu 
ent, it is necessary that the deputies should receive sufficient powers to 
that effect, and consequently the electors ought to be informed that 
their representatives are to be for the congress of Mexico, and not 
of Madrid. The junta will prescribe just rules for the elections, and 
will fix the necessary time for them and the opening of the congress. 

Since the elections cannot take place in March, the term shall be 
shortened as much as possible. 

IGUALA, 24 th February. 


The special committee, appointed to propose to the Cortes what it 
judges most conducive to put a stop in the most effectual manner to the 
disputes and dissensions which unfortunately prevail in the provinces 
of America, is duly penetrated with the importance of the charge, 
and desirous of corresponding to the confidence with which the Cortes 
has honored it. Few questions of such magnitude can be present 
ed to the deliberations of a legislative assembly and to the resolves 
of a government, as that which, at present, occupies the attention 
of the Spanish Cortes. On their resolution, and the wisdom of their 
measures, depend the greatest events; perhaps the tranquillity of 
America, and the rapid civilization of the whole world. Spain seems 
destined to give the world, from time to time, striking examples of 
grandeur, by turns heroical, or singularly foriginal The remote 
seas and regions discovered by her sons since the time of Columbus 
in the 15th and 16th centuries; the renowned valour and martial 
deeds, which border on the fabulous, of Cortes, Balboa, and Pizarrro 

86 [ 90 ] 

did uot suffice to their glory; nor that Sebastian del Cano, in his ship 
Victory, styled the competitor of the sun, should he the first to sail 
round the globe; to complete its measure, they added the arts, civil 
ization, and the religion of their fathers; those vast regions partici 
pated of the benefits enjoyed in Europe, and the discoverers did not 
delay in making extensive to them the advantages derived from their 
own country. With what enthusiasm arid pleasure (as we are assu 
red by Iiica Gacilaso) they assembled to enjoy in reciprocal union, 
and to spread, by their care and attention, over the whole country, 
the first productions of Europe, The laws relative to India are an 
eternal monument of the desire which always animated the Spanish 
government that America should be treated with the same care and 
equality as the other provinces of Europe; they state that its natives 
shall be treated, favored, and defended, as the other subjects of the 
peninsula. From such just and prudent policy resulted the advanta 
ges which afterwards were derived. Cities were erected which, for 
their population, beauty, and extension, rivalled the principal in Eu 
rope; their products served to augment the traffic and commerce of the 
whole world. The sons of America, with their talents and wisdom, 
enlightened the country of Manco Capac, and Montezuma, and, not 
satisfied with spreading their knowledge over their native land, they 
have come to Europe to co-operate in the amelioration and prosper 
ity of the Spains, it being conspicuous that many estimable deputies 
from thence, in the anterior and present Cortes, have taken an active 
and very principal part in the most important decisions. Such are 
the fruits which have been collected from the civilization and culture 
which Spain has succeeded in diffusing beyond the Atlantic, and 
from them is most evident the injustice and levity with which foreign 
writers have spoken of Spanish domineering in those regions. The 
disorders and injustice that there has been there have not arisen from 
the laws, nor from the interests, nor from the ambition, of the metro 
polis, but from the men, the prejudices of the age, from the evils un 
der which Spain herself groaned, and from the distance which al 
ways rendered null the responsibility of the governors. But, in 
spite of this, America continued faithful, and closely united with the 
mother country. The dissensions in Europe, the war of the succes 
sion, produced no desire to disturb interior tranquillity, or to effect a 
separation, neither was the glorious war for independence a sufficient 
motive;.-they succored us with their treasures, and it has been said, in 
honor and to the glory of America, that the principle of her revolt 
had a noble origin, similar to what impelled Spain to defend herself 
against a hostile irruption. When Andalusia was invaded in 1810, 
the greater part of our provinces was occupied by the enemy; our 
government dispersed, and our armies nearly annihilated; the destiny 
of Spain was considered as decided, and her ruin inevitable. It 
would, indeed, have been difficult to imagine that, from an insulated 
extremity of the peninsula, the nation would rise again, not only in 
dependent, but regenerated and free. The Americans, mistrustful 
of their chiefs, feared, that, being Europeans, they would desire to 

[ 90 ] 37 

follow the destiny of Spain whatever it might be; they, therefore, 
resolved not to submit to a foreign yoke, and preferred separat 
ing from the peninsula to the indignity of obeying an unjust inva 
der. This was the noble principle of the commotions in America, 
and if any of her chiefs had motives less pure, he was obliged to 
dissemble, and cover them with the pretext of so just a cause. 

The Spanish arms, in conjunction with their allies, having beat 
and harassed the enemy in every direction, obliged him to evacuate 
the Peninsula. Such a happy state of affairs announced a speedy 
reconciliation with the revolted provinces of America; but all the 
hopes of those who loved their country were dispelled by the fatal 
decree of the 4th of May, and the execrable system which followed. 
The war continued to rage in many parts, and the passions, irritated to 
the highest degree, left hut little prospect of a conclusion to such a de 
structive quarrel. Nevertheless, New Spain, or, more correctly, all 
Spanish North America, almost entiVely quelled at that epoch, put a 
stop to this devastating warfare. A great part of Peru had constantly 
remained united to Spain; as also, Cuba and the other islands Thus, 
while Terra Firma, Buenos Ayrcs, and Chili, presented the spectacle 
of Spanish and American blood spilled by the same hands whose inter 
est it was to preserve it, the most important part of Spanish America 
was free from so much desolation. But this tranquillity does not suf 
fice; though it should extend all over America, and he more durable, it 
is not sufficient to satisfy the lovers of humanity. America must fix her 
happiness on a more stable basis, which, instead of prejudicing, may 
add, to that of Europe. The Cortes, soaring above the prejudices of 
some, and the passions of others, must take such wise measures as shall 
entitle them to be considered worthy rivals of those Cortes who, upon 
a rock, and under the enemy's cannon, dictated laws at this day re 
spected and obeyed by so many and such distant provinces. The com 
mittee, fully persuaded of this, discussed, in various conferences, the 
questions which appeared to it most proper to produce the great end 
to which we all aspire; it examined them conjointly with his Majes 
ty's ministers, who at first entirely concurred with the opinions that 
were generally adopted. Peculiar circumstances have since obliged 
them, in some measure, to suspend their judgment, under the impres 
sion that the public opinion is not yet prepared for a definitive reso 
lution. In this dilemma, the committee can propose nothing to the 
Cortes; because, as it appertains to the government to decide the 
question of fact, that is, the convenience and necessity of adopting 
certain measures, and government not thinking the moment has yet 
arrived, the committee must confine itself to excite the zeal of the 
ministers, that they may accelerate the wished-for moment. Justice 
calls aloud for this; the precarious and uncertain destiny of so many 
Europeans, Spaniards established in those regions, the Americans 
likewise, the different tribes who have sustained, by force of arms, the 
cause of the metropolis; in fine, the true felicity of America and the 
peninsula, call aloud for it. The happiness of America consists in a 
solid peace, .guarantee of its future prosperity; that of Spain, in 
not meeting impediments at every moment, and not having its atten- 

38 [ 90 ] 

tion drawn off from its deliberations to make the provisions which 
such distant provinces require. The knowledge of the century, and 
an enlightened policy, must guide the government in so new and glo 
rious a resolution. The committee, possessed with the grandeur of 
the subject, and convinced that its decision may have some influence 
in the destiny of the universe, is desirous of communicating to all 
Spaniards its intimate conviction, that they, on their part, may con 
tribute to the happy termination of such an undertaking. Spain 
would derive advantages that, otherwise, she will not realise; and 
the ties of relationship and religion, united to commercial relations, 
and those which are 'derived from free institutions, would be the 
most certain pledge of our harmony and close union. The commit 
tee, therefore, notable of itself to determine on any thing, must con 
fine itself to proposing that the zealf the government be excited, so 
that it may present to the deliberations of the Cortes, without delay, 
the fundamental measures it may think proper* as well for the speedy 
and complete pacification of the revolted provinces of America, as to 
secure to them the fruition of a firm and solid felicity. 


ARTICLE 1. There shall be three sections of Cortes in America; 
one in the north and two in the south. The first shall be composed 
of the deputies of all New Spain, including the internal provinces 
of Guatemela: the two other sections shall comprehend the one, 
New Grenada and the provinces of Terra Firm a; the other Peru, 
Buenos Ay res, and Chili. 

2. These sections sjiall unite at the time appointed by the constitu 
tion for the ordinary Cortes, governing themselves, in every respect, 
according to the rules prescribed for these; and they shall have in 
their territory the same legal representation and powers, excepting 
the second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth, which are reserved for the 
general Cortes; the part of the 7th, relative to approving offensive 
an'J defensive treaties; and the second part of the 2Sd. 

S. The capitals where these sections shall, for the present, unite, 
are the following: The section of New Spain in Mexico; that of 
New Grenada and Terra Firma in Santa Fe; and that of Peru, Bue 
nos Ayres, and Chili, in Lima. If the sections, with the consent 
of the Executive power of those countries, should think proper to 
change the seat of government, they may select whatever place may 
appear best suited to their purpose. 

4. There shall be in each of these divisions a delegation, to exer 
cise, in the name of the King, the Executive authority. 

5. These delegations shall each be composed of one person, named 
by the will of his Majesty, selected from amongst men of the most 
transcendant talents, without excluding the members of the Royal 
Family. This delegate shall be removable at the pleasure of -Jjjs 

[ 90 ] 39 

Majesty: he shall be inviolable in regard to the sections of Cortes of 
those countries, and shall only be responsible for his conduct to his 
Majesty and the general Cortes. The ministers of this deS^a- 
tiou shall be responsible to the respective sections of the Cortes ac 
cording to the constitution. 

6. There shall be four departments: of the interior, of finance, of 
justice, of war and marine; some of which may be united, according 
as it may be judged convenient, in virtue of a law. 

7. There shall be three sections of the supreme tribunals of jus 
tice, composed of a President, eight Ministers, and an Attorney Ge 

8. There shall be tliree sections of the Council of State, each com 
posed of seven individuals, but the legislative sections may at plea 
sure reduce their number to five. 

9. The commerce between the Peninsula and America shall be 
considered as interior from one province of the monarchy to another; 
and consequently, the Spaniards of both hemispheres shall enjoy in 
them the same advantages as their respective natives. 

10. They shall likewise reciprocally enjoy the same civil rights 
I and equal eligibility to employments and public offices as their re 
spective natives. 

11. New Spain and the other countries, comprehended in the ter 
ritory of their legislative section, oblige themselves to deliver to the 
peninsula, the sum of two hundred millions of reals, in the space of 
#ix years, which shall commence on the 1st of January, 1823, in or 
der to contribute to the payment of the foreign debt, hypothecating 
the revenue of the state, and the lands that appertain, or may here 
after appertain to it, in the above mentioned New Spain and indi 
cated territory. 

The said two hundred million of reals shall be paid by instalments. 
The first at the commencement of January, 1823, and thus, succes 
sively, in six posterior years, until its final liquidation, which will 
take place on the 1st January, 1828, so that thirty millions may be 
paid during each of the first four years, and forty during the two last* 
The term of these instalments may be curtailed, with the approba-" 
fcion of the legislative section that shall be established in New Spain. 

12. New Spain and the other territories comprehended in her le 
gislative section, likewise bind themselves to contribute to the navy 
expenses of the peninsula, with forty millions of reals annually. The 
payment of this sum shall commence from the time when the legisla 
tive section shall first assemble, and shall be delivered at farthest at 
the expiration of a year from that period: this sum shall be augment 
ed when the circumstances of New Spain shall permit, and delivered, 
along with the other, specified In the preceding article, in some one 
of the ports belonging to New Spain in the Gulf of Mexico. 

13. The rest of the countries of America, comprised in the other 
sections, shall contribute to the peninsula, in the manner that shall 
be hereafter fixed upon, ami according to their circumstances. 

40 [ 90 ] 

14. New Spain takes upon herself the payment of all the puhlic 
debt contracted in her territory, by order of her agents in her name 
and by her authority; the lands, revenues, and other property of the 
state, of whatever nature, without prejudice to what has been agreed 
upon in the llth article, shall be made over to her, to serve as an 
hypothecation of what has been stipulated in said article. 

15. The deputies of the respective sections* at the time of taking 
the oath to observe, and cause to be observed, the constitution of the 
Spanish monarchy, shall add that of complying with and causing 
this law to be executed. 



Jose R. Ravenga, one of the Plenipotentiaries of Colombia, near his 
Catholic Majesty, has the honor to present his respects to Thomas 
Bront, Esq. Charge d' Affaires of the United States of North Ameri 
ca, and requests that he will be pleased to name an hour at which he 
tan have a personal interview with him. 

House of the Marquis of Mos, Street of the Infantas. 
July 9th, 1821. 


Thomas L. L. Brent, Charge d' Affaires of the United States, kisses 
the hand of Senor Don Jose R. Ravenga, Plenipotentiary of Colom 
bia, and will be happy, to receive him at his house at six o'clock this 

Madrid, 9th July, 1821. 


Manuel Torres, Agent and Charge des Affaires of the Republic of Co 
lombia, in the United States, to John Quincy Mams, Esq. Secretary 
of State. 

WASHINGTON, February 20, 1821. 

SIR: The Republics of Venezuela and New Grenada, which, after 
a devastating war of more than ten years, have victoriously achiev 
ed the independence which they had declared since the year 1811, 
were united by virtue of a fundamental law of the sovereign Congress 
of Venezuela, of the 17th December, 1819, with the glorious title 

[ 90 ] 41 

f the Republic of Colombia, under which it has taken its rank 
among other independent nations, 

In consequence, 1 have received the, order of my government to 
communicate to you, sir, this resolution worthy of Colombia, and to 
accompany it \vith the subjoined authenticated copy of the said fun 
damental law, in order that you may be pleased to lay it before the 
President of the United States. 

I have also the honor to present to you, sir, the credentials of my 
public character, and a drawing of the national standard, which will 
henceforth distinguish Colombia among other sovereign and indepen 
dent States. 

Although the foundation of the Republic of these United States 
would completely justify the right of Colombia, yet, with respect to 
the custom which has been introduced among nations, the causes 
which have rendered this measure indispensable, have been explained 
in the Declaration of Independence of Venezuela, of the 5th July, 
1811, a copy of which Don Telesforo de Urea, then agent extraor 
dinary of that Republic, transmitted to your predecessor. .on the 6tli 
of November, of the same year: the other declaration of Venezuela, 
of the 2d November, 1818, and the manifesto of the President of the 
sovereign Congress of Colombia, of the 26th of August last, copies 
of which I sent you with my official letter of the 15th of last Decem 
ber, likewise mention them. 

The conduct of Colombia being thus in all respects justified, no 
doubt my government will be recognized by that of the United 
States, as a free and independent nation, a sister Republic, situated 
likewise in the same hemisphere: It is also hoped, that to the recog 
nition of the independence of Colombia on the part of the United 
States, treaties of commerce and navigation will be added, founded 
upon the bases of reciprocal utility and perfect equality, as the most 
fficacious means of strengthening and increasing the relations of 
amity between the two. Republics. 

As you are already acquainted with the solicitude of Colombia, 
permit me, sir, to add that it is of the greatest importance to my 
government to know the determination of the United States in re 
gard to it. 

I repeat, sir, the homage of the sentiments of high respect and 
distinguished consideration, with which I have the honor to remain, 
Sir, your most obedient humble servant, 


42 [ 90 ] 



Fundamental law of the sovereign Congress of Venezuela, of the \7th 
of Decembe^, 18 19, for the union of the Republics of New Grenada 
and Venezuela, under the title of the Republic of Colombia. 


The sovereign Congress of Venezuela, to whose authority the 
people of New Grenada, lately emancipated hy the arms of the Repub 
lic, have voluntarily submitted, considering 

1. That by uniting the provinces of Venezuela and New Grenada 
in one republic, they will have the means of attaining the highest de 
gree of power and prosperity. 

2. That if they should remain in separate republics, however great 
the bonds that might unite them, yet, far from benefiting by so ma 
ny advantages, with difficulty would they consolidate their sovereign 
ty, and cause it to be respected. 

3. That these truths, clearly perceived by every man of sound un 
derstanding and genuine patriotism, had excited the governments of 
both republics to agree to their confederation, which the vicissitudes 
of war have heretofore prevented. 

From these considerations of necessity and reciprocal interest, and 
in conformity with the report of the select committee of the deputies 
from New Grenada and Venezuela, in the name and under the au 
spices of the Supreme Being, has decreed, and does decree, the follow 
ing fundamental law for the Republic of Colombia: 

ARTICLE 1. The Republics of Venezuela and New Grenada shall 
be, from the present day, united, under the glorious title of the Re 
public of Colombia. 

. Its territory shall be those comprehended in the former captain 
generalship of Venezuela, and the vice-royalty of the new kingdom 
of Grenada, embracing an extent of one hundred and fifteen thousand 
square leagues, whereof the exact boundaries shall be fixed at a 
more seasonable opportunity. 

3. The debts contracted by the two republics, separately, are ac 
knowledged in solidum, by this law, as a national debt of Colombia, 
for the discharge of which, the goods and property of the state are 
pledged, and the most productive of the revenue shall be destined. 

4. The executive power of the republic shall be exercised by a 
President, and in his absence by a Vice President, both to be appoint 
ed pro tern pore by the present Congress. 

5. The Republic of Colombia shall be divided into three great de 
partments, Venezuela, Quito, and Cundinamarca, which shall com 
prehend the provinces of New Grenada, whereof the name shall be 
henceforward suppressed. The capitals of these departments shall 
be the cities of Caracas, Quito, and Bogota, the addition of Santa Fe 
being omitted. 

6. Each department shall have a superior administration, and 
chief magistrate, to be appointed for the present by this Congress, 
with the title of Vice President. 

7. A now city, bearing the name of the liberator, Bolivar, shall be 

[ 90 ] 43 

the capital of the Republic of Colombia. The plan and site thereof 
shall be determined by the first general Congress, upon the princi 
ple of making it suitable for the conveniences of the three depart-' 
ments, and proportioned to the grandeur for which this rich country 
is destined by nature. 

8. The General Congress of Colombia shall assemble on the 1st 
day of January, 1821, .in the town of Rosario de Cucuta, which in 
every respect is considered the most suitable place. The convoca 
tion shall be made by the President of the republic, on the 1st Janu 
ary, 1 820, who shall also communicate the plan for the elections, to be 
devised by a select committee, and approved by the present Congress. 

9. The constitution of the Republic of Colombia shall be formed 
by the General Congress, to whom shall be presented the project of 
one already decreed; together with the laws enacted by this Congress, 
to be immediately carried into execution, by way of experiment. 

10. The arms and flag for Colombia shall be decreed by the Gen 
eral Congress. In the mean time, those of Venezuela shall be em 
ployed, as they are known. 

11. The present Congress shall dissolve on the 15th January, 
1820, in order that the new elections may take place for the General 
Congress of Colombia. 

12. A commission of six members, with a president, invested with 
special powers, to be decreed, shall occupy the place of Congress dur 
ing its recess. 

13. The Republic of Colombia shall be solemnly proclaimed to 
the citizens and the armies, with public feasts and rejoicings, to take 
place in this capital, on the 25th December, instant, commemorating 
the nativity of the Saviour of mankind, under whose protection the 
state has been regenerated by this re-union. 

14. The anniversary of this political regeneration shall be per 
petually celebrated by a national feast, where virtue and talents, as 
formerly at Olympia, shall be distinguished and rewarded. 

The present fundamental law for the Republic of Colombia shall 
be promulgated in the settlements and armies, inserted in the public 
journals, and deposited in the archives of the cabildos, municipali 
ties, and corporations, whether ecclesiastical or secular. 

Given at the palace of the Sovereign Congress of Venezuela, in the 
city of St. Thomas of Angostura, on the 17th day of December, 
A. D. 1819, and in the ninth year of our Independence. 

Francisco Antonio Zea, President of Congress. 

Juan German Roscio, Diego Bantista Urbaneja, 

Manuel Sedeno, Juan Vincerite Cardoso, 

Juan Martinez, Ignacio Mufioz, 

Jose Espana, Onofre Basaio, 

Luis Thomas Peraza, Domingo Alzurn, 

Antonio M. Briceno, Jose Thomas Machad, 

Eusebio Afanador, Ramon Garcia Cadrz. 
Francisco Conde, 

Diego de Vallenilla, Deputy /Secretary. 

44 [ 90 ] 


Palace of the Sovereign Congress of Venezuela, at Angostura, the 
17th December, 1819 ninth. 

The Sovereign Congress decrees, that the present fundamental law 
for the Republic of Colombia, shall be communicated to the Supreme 
Executive power, by a deputation for its publication and execution. 

President of Congress, 
DIEGO DE VALLENIIXA, Deputy Secretary. 

Jfalace of the Government, at Angostura, the 17 th Dec. 1819 ninth. 

Ordered to be printed, proclaimed, executed, and sealed with the 
seal of the state. 


By his Excellency, the President of the Republic, 

DIEGO B. URBANEJA, Minister of the Interior and of Justice. 
A true copy Washington, 20th Feb. 1821. (llth.) 





Juan German Roscio, Vice President of the Department of Ven 
ezuela, and charged with the government of the Republic, on account 
of the absence of the President oh the campaign, and of the Vice 
President on commission. 

Whereas, it is important to the prosperity of Colombia, and to the 
dignity of that station to which it has been elevated, to establish di 
plomatic intercourse with other nations, and to make treaties which 
may confirm its friendship with them, regulate its commerce, and 

Srotect mutual interests: and this government being desirous of 
rawing more close the relations and bonds of union and good cor 
respondence which already happily exist with that of the United 
States; therefore, I have nominated, arid, by these presents, do appoint 
arid authorize Manuel Torres, Esq. that in the rank arid with the 
character of Agent and Charge des Affaires of the Republic of Colom 
bia, he present himself and treat with the said United States, and, 
Conformably to the instructions which have been given him, to pro 
mote the interests and advantage of Colombia, by reconciling them 
with those of said states, upon the principles of * the most intimate, 
frank, and sincere friendship. 

[ 90 ] 45 

Given at the Palace of Government at Angostura; signed by my 
hand, sealed with the provisional seal of the Republic, and counter 
signed by the Secretary of State and Foreign Relations, the 15th of 
May, 1820. 


By his Excellency the Vice President of Venezuela, charged with 
the government of Colombia. 


The Minister of State and Foreign Relations. 


Don Manuel Torres to the Secretary of State. 

PHILADELPHIA, November 30, 1821. 

SIR: Since I had the honor of addressing to you my official note of 
the 20th of February last, requesting the President of the United 
States the formal acknowledgment of the independence of the Repub 
lic of Colombia, as a free, sovereign, and independent state, new suc 
cesses have taken place, which, at the same time that they remove 
any well-founded obstacle which might at that time have been in the 
way of the government of the United States to prevent their acced 
ing to the wish of that Republic, render now the said measure more 
urgent, and I might say indispensable, in consequence of the recent 
events in Peru and New Spain, and the conduct of the Spanish go 
vernment towards America, always unjust and always capricious. 

In compliance with the orders which I have received from the mi 
nister of foreign relations, of date the 3d of August, in' Cucuta, I 
hasten to communicate to you, sir, what has occurred in Colombia 
since the recommencement of hostilities with Spain, and to inform 
you of the real actual state of the Republic, that you may be pleased 
to lay it before the President of the United States. 

In conformity with the fundamental law of. the irth of December, 
1819, the solemn act of the installation of the General Congress of 
the Republic of Colombia, composed of representatives named by the 
people of the nineteen free provinces of New Grenada and Venezuela, 
took place on the 6th of May last, in the city of Rosario, of Cucuta, 
as is shewn by the oilicial document, No. 1, which I have the honor 
to enclose to you. 

The General Congress being installed, one of the first measures 
which called the attention of the legislative body, was the great ques 
tion of the fundamental law, and, after long and elaborate debate?, 
in which each member expressed his opinion with the greatest free 
dom, the union of New Grenada and Venezuela into one body as a 
nation, under the express agreement of a popular representative go 
vernment, divided into Legislative, Executive, and Judicial, autho 
rities, was adopted and sanctioned by a plurality of votes; and, also, 

46 [ 90 ] 

the (Jj vision of the territory of the Republic into departments or ciu- 
cies, according to the evidence in No. 2. 

The document numbered 3, is the manifesto which, on the sixth of 
June, the President of Congress addressed to the people arid armies 
of the Republic, notifying them of so important a measure; and No. 
4 contains the fundamental law. 

Whilst the Congress was engaged with patriotic spirit in discuss 
ing and making laws conducive to the correct administration of jus 
tice, to the regulation and management of the revenues, and to the 
promotion of public instruction, in all the provinces and places of the 
state, the attention of the liberator President was engaged in con 
ducting an active war against the enemy, to expel them entirely from 
the territory of the Republic. The arms of Colombia experienced 
once more the aid of a beneficent providence, and they accomplished, 
at one blow, the entire destruction of the Spanish power in Vene 
zuela, in the memorable battle of Carabobo, on the 24th of June. 

The enemy lost their park of artillery, their baggage, their all, in 
their very entrenchments, and of more than six thousand men who 
were assembled at that military point, scarcely could a *mall number 
escape, who were able to retire within the walls of Porto Cabello. 

The formidable fortress of Carthagena, and that of Cumana, also 
fell successively, so that Porto Cabello, in Venezuela, and the isth 
mus of Panama, in New Grenada, are the only two points which the 
Spaniards, for the moment, occupy in all the vast territory of Colom 
bia; and, probably, before the termination of the present year, both 
will be incorporated with the Republic. 

Although the isthmus of Panama, from its scanty population, its 
absolute want of agriculture, and its situation, can contribute little or 
nothing to the increase or facility of the interior or exterior commerce 
of the new Republic, still its occupation is of great importance to Co 
lombia, under the view of its own future security, and that of the rest 
of America; and from the great facility which the river Chagrez af 
fords for the commerce of Peru, and that of the provinces of New 
Spain, which lie along the Pacific, since the distances, the dangers, 
and expenses of a navigation by Cape Horn, are considerably dimi 

But it was not enough for the Liberator President to annihilate the 
formidable legions with which the Spaniards oppressed the country, 
it was also necessary to preserve good understanding and harmony 
among the inhabitants of Colombia, arid to maintain among foreign 
naU'?5is the respect and reputation of the authorities of the Republic, 
\vhich the agents of Ferdinand the Seventh have constantly defamed, 
by circulating, through the medium of the press, the most infamous 
falsehoods against them. He had no other means of realizing his ob 
ject but exposing to the impartial world the perfidious conduct which 
the Peninsular government had incessantly observed towards the 
Americans; and, to the incontrovertible manner in which he did so, bv 
/he proclamation which he addressed to the Spaniards on the 23th of 
April, from the city of Barinas, is partly due the success of the repub 
lican arms in Colombia and in Peru. 

[ 90 1 47 

The inhabitants of Colombia, after eleven years of a war, as un 
just as cruel and destructive, guided by the genius of their liberator 
president, have achieved the liberty and independence of their coun 
try without the least foreign aid; have given themselves a popular 
and representative government, and a constitution well calculated to 
preserve the principles of liberty and equality and to promote the ge 
neral prosperity. 

With respect to the ability and capacity of Colombia to maintain 
its independence, no well-founded doubt can arise upon that point, if 
we consider on one hand the great population of the republic, which 
exceeds 3,600,000 souk, tiie extent of its territory, its natural and 
artificial resources, and its situation; and, on the other, the great mi 
litary talent displayed by its generals and officers, and the discipline 
and valor manifested by its troops on all occasions, but particularly 
in the celebrated battles ofBoyacaawl Carabobo, in the capture of 
St. Martha, defended by seventeen exterior batteries, all taken by 
assault, and the reduction of the fortresses of Carthagena and Cu- 

Some idea may be also formed of the degree of splendor, power, 
and future prosperity, of the new republic, by considering it placed 
in the centre of the universe, with an extent of coast of twelve hun 
dred miles on the Atlantic, from the Orinoco to the isthmus of Da- 
rien, and of seven hundred miles on the Pacific ocean, from Panama 
tofiahiade Tumbez; and exempt, at all seasons, from any of those 
dreadful hurricanes which cause such disasters in the Antilles, in the 
Gulf of Mexico, and in other places. 

The great canals which are formed by the river Orinoco and its 
tributary streams, the Sulia, with the lake of Maracaybo, the Mag- 
dalena, the Cauca, and the Atrato, which all empty into the Atlantic, 
render Colombia the most favored part of the universe for interior 
navigation; and, by a union of aJl climates, unites, also, in great 
abundance, the productions of the three kingdoms of nature. 

Agriculture is farther advanced in Colombia than in any other 
part of continental America, formerly Spanish, and its products of 
exportation, which consist chiefly of cocoa, coffee, indigo, tobacco of 
Barinas, and some cotton, are of a quality superior to those of other 
countries, except the cotton. With respect to the precious metals, 
Colombia is interior neither to Mexico nor Peru, with the advantage 
that their discovery is more easy and less expensive. She also 
unites, by prolonged canals, two oceans which nature had separat 
ed; and by her proximity to the United States and to Europe, ap 
pears to have been destined, by the Author of Nature, as the centre 
and the empire of the human family. 

Under these auspices it was, that the new republic took her rank 
among othef fr^e, sovereign, and independent nations, and that I had 
the honor, in my note to you, sir, of the C 20th of February last, to 
solicit the recognition of her independence, on, the part of the Presi 
dent of the United States; which request I repeat anew in this. 

48 [ 90 ] 

The glory and the satisfaction of being the first to recognize the 
independence of a new republic in the south of this continent belongs, 
in all respects and considerations, to the government of the United 
States; and this recognition would be, after all, but a measure, which 
the humanity, the justice, and the convenience and interest of this 
nation, demand. 

Reduced, as Spain is, to an absolute inability to continue the war, 
her pride wishes an opening, perhaps, to meet with a pretext for 
making her peace with the Americans, and nothing would better an 
swer her purpose, than the recognition of the independence of Co 
lombia by the Federal government* 

On the other hand, if the war between Spain and Colombia must 
continue, the law of neutrality of the United States would operate 
with equality with respect to both belligerents, which was not and 
cannot be the case, whilst this government does not recognize the 
independence of the new republic. Lastly, between the United 
States and Colombia, there can never exist a competition or rival- 
ship in agriculture, commerce, and navigation, because, Colombia 
has no mercantile navy, nor can she form one for many years, and 
the products of exportation of her agriculture are entirely different 
from those which are cultivated in the United States. She wants 
annually twenty thousand barrels of flour, and other provisions from 
these States, for which she pays in coffee, indigo, hides in the hair, 
and in money, according as the intercourse between the two countries 
is favorable to the agriculture of both. 

The political events of Peru and Mexico render the recognition of 
the independence of Colombia, urgent, on account of the great confi 
dence with which this act would inspire those nations, to establish 
popular representative governments. AJ1 South America formerly 
Spanish, is emancipated, that is, upwards of eleven millions of souls; 
this has given a new importance to the New World, and now they 
are no more afraid of the machinations of the Holy Alliance to keep 
America dependent upon Europe, and to prevent the establishment of 
free governments. 

The present political state of New Spain requires the most earnest 
attention of the government of the United States; there has occurred a 
project, long since formed, to establish a monarchy in Mexico, on 
purpose to favor the views of the Holy Alliance in the New World ; 
this is a new reason which ought to determine the President of the 
United States no longer to delay a measure, which will naturally es 
tablish an American alliance, capable of counteracting the projects of 
the European powers, and of protecting our republican institutions. 
My government has entire confidence in the prudence of the President, 
in his disposition to favor the cause of the liberty and of the indepen 
dence of South America, and his great experience in the management 
of public business. 

Confined, for about three months past, to my bed or my chamber, 
by a grievous indisposition, which still gives me very few moments 

[ 90 ] 49 

of repose, it has not been in ray power to address this communication 
to you sooner. 

I have the honor to remain, with the highest respect and distin 
guished consideration, sir, your most obedient humble servant, 



Don Manuel Torres to the Secretary of State. 

PHILADELPHIA, 30th Dec. 1821. 

SIR: The General Congress of the Republic of Colombia, in the 
session of the 6th of September, appointed the Liberator and Captain 
General, Simon Bolivar, President of the State, and General Fran 
cisco de Paula Santander, Vice President, for the constitutional term 
of four years; and on the 3d of October they took possession of their 
respective magistracies, after having taken the oath prescribed by 
the constitution. 

The functions of the Executive power devolved, from the 10th of 
said October, on the Vice President of the State, agreeably to the 
losiii article of the Constitution, in consequence of the Liberator 
President having taken the command of the armies of the Republic. 

The Supreme Government has fixed its residence in the city of Bo 
gota, in virtue of a decree of the General Congress, of the 8th of the 
saujvi October; and, by another decree of the Liberator President, of 
the 7th, the Seilor Pedro Gual has been appointed Secretary of State 
and Foreign Relations of the government of Colombia. 

I communicate this to you, sir, that you may be pleased to commu 
nicate it to the President of the United States. 

I renew to you, sir, the sentiments of respect and distinguished 
consideration with which I have the honor to remain, &c. 



Don Manuel Torres to the Secretary of State. 

PHILADELPHIA, 2d January, 1822. 

SIR: In the official note which I addressed to you, on the 20th of 
February of the last year, soliciting the recognition of the Republic 
of Colombia, on the part of the President of the United States, I re 
presented how important it was to my government to know the de- 
termination of the United States respecting the said demand. 

In that which I had the honor to transmit to you, dated the 30th 
of November last, I repeated the substance of that of the 20th of 
February, and I suggested some additional powerful reasons which 
urgently required the positive knowledge of the decision of the Pro- 

5(5 [ 90 ] 

sident of the United States in regard to a question of so much impor 
tance; to my government in the present circumstances, for the regu 
lation of its political and commercial relations with other nations. 

I ought not to conceal, Sir, my pain in being compelled to distract 
your attention by requesting, once more, an answer to my former 
notes. This course, under all circumstances an indispensable duty 
of my station, has been rendered the more urgent by the negotiations 
of peace between Colombia and Spain, having lost all their impor 
tance, in consequence of the Peninsular government tenaciously per 
sisting in its extravagant and unjust pretensions, at the very time of 
its most absolute incapacity and impotence to invade the territory of 
the Republic, or to prevent the prosperity which its inhabitants now 
begin to enjoy; a blessing of the independence which they have gain 
ed by their arms, and of the liberty which their constitution secures 
to them. 

The present state of my health does not yet permit me to visit the 
capital; but I shall do so as soon as I can undertake the journey 
without inconvenience. 

Be pleased, Sir, to accept the homage of the sentiments of esteem, 
and distinguished consideration, with which I have the honor tobe,&c. 


Secretary of State to Don Manuel Torres. 

Washington, ISth January 9 1822. 

SIR: In reference to your letters of the 30th of November last, and 
the I 2d of this month, I have the honor of informing you, that the sub 
ject to which they relate, is under the consideration of the President 
of the United States, whose definitive decision concerning it shall, 
when taken, be forthwith communicated to you. In the mean time, 
should you receive advices of the surrender of Porto Cavello, and the 
Isthmus of Panama, 1 have to request you would favor me with the 
information of those events as early as may suit your convenience. 

I pray you, sir, to accept the assurance of my distinguished con 
sideration. JOHN QUIJNCY ADAMS. 

To the Secretary of State of the United States of America. 

MEXICO, 2 5th October, 1821. 

SIR: The love of my country, the spring of every noble and gene 
rous action, induces me to communicate to you, for the information 

[90] 51 

of the President, and for the benefit that may result to the govern 
ment and citizens of the United States, the following circumstantial 
and exact account of the happy revolution that has lately occurred 
in this kingdom of New Spain, which, by the blessing of God, the 
intrepidity, talents, and exertions, of its patriotic chief, General Don 
Augustin Iturbide, the enlightened policy of its mother country, and 
the liberal and philanthropic ideas of its late Captain General Don 
Juan O'Donoju, has ended in its complete and entire emancipation. 

That you may have a clear and distinct view of the subject, be 
fully impressed with the justice of the cause of this hitherto afflicted 
and oppressed people, and have also a general idea of the face of the 
country, its inhabitants, productions, &c. it may not be improper to 
state, that, since its conquest, which, if my memory serves me, was in 
the year 1521, it has been governed by sixty -two viceroys, and in 
numerable commandant generals, governors, and superintendents of 
provinces, who, according to general tradition, have been, with very 
few exceptions, as many merciless and mercenary tyrants, the rapa 
city and unfeeling barbarity of which nothing could have withstood 
for sucli a length of time; but a land enriched by the beautiful hand 
of nature to a most extraordinary degree, and a people born and 
brought up, until of late, in all the intolerance of superstition and 
ignorance, and accustomed from its earliest infancy to the innumera 
ble, and I may say almost incredible impositions, of both church and 

Few foreigners have, perhaps, had an opportunity of seeing as 
much of the kingdom as myself, having travelled on horseback from 
the port of Guaymas, on the gulf of California, to almost every part 
of Sonora, and afterwards through the provinces and superinten 
dences of New Biscay, New Galicia, San Luis Potosi, Queretaro, 
and Mexico, to this city; a distance at least of 700 leagues, passing 
through all the principal cities, visiting the most celebrated mines, 
and conversing familiarly with all classes of people. 

The provinces of Puebla, Mexico, Merhoacan, San Luis Potosi, 
and Guanajuate, may be termed the central ones, and of those I have 
seen, the best watered, most fertile, most productive, and most inha 
bited; those that border on the gulf of Mexico are Merida de Yuca 
tan, Oaxaca, Vera Cruz, New Santandero, and Texas; the second, 
from all accounts, beautiful in the extreme; and the third and last 
very fertile, but almost entirely uncultivated: those on th* Pacific 
ocean and gulf of California, New Galicia, Sinaloa and Sonora, fer 
tile in parts, but wry scant of water, and the extensive internal ones 
of New Leon, New Biscay, and New Mexico, that reaches to the la 
titude of 42 N. which have for the most part the same defect, and 
which may be called a general one throughout the kingdom, there 
being in most parts but little rain, and in no part excepting Texas, 
what we would call rivers; where there is an abundance of water, 
however, the country is wonderfully fertile, producing in many parts 
two and three crops a year, and yielding each time four and five hun 
dred for one, with the singular advantage of a diversity of tempera- 

52 [ 90 ] 

ture within very short distances, produced by the greater or less ele 
vation of the lands, the centre of the kingdom being from eight to 
twelve thousand feet above the level of the sea, so that it is not un 
common to see in the same market, all the fruits, grains, and other 
productions, of temperate, hot, and cold climates, as is the case in 
this, and most of the principal cities. 

Before the insurrection of the year 1810, the kingdom contained 
six millions of inhabitants, and it is worthy of remark, that Provi 
dence has been no less lavish in the distribution of her gifts as re 
spects mankind, than in the fertility and production of the earth; the 
natives of this country, not excepting even the Indians, being endow 
ed with a quickness of perception and ability to acquire and make 
themselves masters of the arts and sciences, that is very notable, and 
far exceeds that of the inhabitants of Old Spain, and, perhaps, many 
other countries. At the abovementioned period, the kingdom may he 
said to have been at its acme of prosperity; the royal revenue exceed 
ing twenty millions of dollars, and the money coined at the mint of 
this city, upwards of twenty-eight millions annually; it has, however, 
ever since been on the decline, in consequence of the devastations com 
mitted by both parties in the long and cruel war carried on between 
the Europeans and Americans, so that the population cannot now be 
computed at more than four millions; the revenue at more than half 
of what it was, and the money coined yearly, at from five to eight mil 
lions; this year it will probably not exceed four. 

I have been informed that a very correct history of this insurrection 
up to the unfortunate expedition of General Miria, has been written 
by a Mr. Robinson, and published in Philadelphia; it is useless, there 
fore, to say more on the ^subject than that its commencement was 
undoubtedly caused by the abuses daily committed in all branches of 
the government in this kingdom, by the disorder in which Spain was 
thrown in consequence of the invasion of the French, and by the im 
prudent measures adopted in this city, one of which was the arrest of 
the viceroy Iturigaray, and many of its principal American inhabi 
tants: it is also worthy of remark, that, in proportion as it was pro 
longed, the evils encreased, and its symptoms became more malignant; 
the various incidents of the struggle, imbruing its character with blood, 
produced other passions, and among them those of rancor and hatred, 
which, irritated and inflamed by the inconsideration, imprudence, 
and want of policy, on both sides, divided the kingdom into two par 
ties, the Europeans and Americans, whose respective opinions formed 
essentially the war that destroyed both. 

Among those that contributed most to quell the insurrection, was 
the before mentioned General Don Augustin Iturbide, then colonel of 
the regiment of Celaya, and native of the city of Valladolid, in the 
province of Mechoacan; born of European parents, and animated by 
a mistaken zeal, he was induced to embrace the royal cause, and, 
with a fervor and impetuosity peculiar to his character, committed 
many arbitrary and violent acts, that, in a great degree, tarnished 
what would otherwise have been deemed brilliant achievements, and 

[ 90 1 53 

over which it is necessary to draw a veil, his subsequent conduct hav 
ing entirely effaced them from the memory even of those most aggriev 
ed. Indeed, it would appear that a sense of the injustice he had com 
mitted, an innate conviction of the impropriety of adhering to the 
party he had espoused, and a remorse of conscience, were the princi 
pal causes of the change in his political sentiments; for we see him all 
at once assume a different character, and at a moment when his sove 
reign had heaped upon him innumerable honors. 

The impossibility of re-establishing peace and quietness in the 
kingdom by the force of arms, was fully ascertained during the vice- 
royalty of the Captain Generals Venegas and Calleja, of whom it 
may be said that they rather dispersed than conquered the Americans, 
the country being in a complete state of revolt, and full of chieftains 
that commanded from three to six hundred, and even a thousand men 
each, and hands of robbers that infested the highways in September, 
1816, when the viceroy Apodaca arrived. To this disinterested, 
good, and virtuous man, is due the pacification of the kingdom; his 
penetration, skill, and humanity, having suggested to him the pro 
priety of layin - aside the arms that had hitherto been in use, and of 
winning tbe affections of the people by means of persuasion, pardons, 
and premiums, who without general officers, money, or any imme 
diate expectation of establishing the liberty of their country, and 
weary of the wandering and wretched life they had so long endured, 
embraced readily the opportunity that presented of returning to the 
bosom of their families. No sooner was the plan adopted than its 
wisdom became palpable; entire towns and districts yielding to the 
solicitations of the agents appointed by the government for carrying 
it into execution, so that at the end of two years all was tranquillity., 
and you could travel in every direction without escort of arms, ex 
cept that of Acapulco, between which and this city the chieftains 
Guerrero, Asensio, and a Colonel Bradburn, of Virginia, that came 
with General Mina, with about fifteen hundred men, had taken re 
fuge, and fortified an almost inaccessible mountain, from whence they 
made predatory excursions. To reduce these to obedience was the 
ultimate object and wish of the government, and, with this view Gene 
ral Yturbide was invested with the important military command of 
the department of the south, that contained about three thousand vete 
ran troops, and had its head-quarters in the town of Yguala, distant 
about thirty leagues from this city, on the direct road to Acapuko. 
It is proper to mention here, that a few months previous to his nomi 
nation, news had been received of the regeneration of Old Spain, and 
of the establishment of -the constitution in that country, a circum 
stance that created great alarm in this among the clergy and friars: 
the lower class of people were also taught to believe that the planting 
of it here would be attended with the entire destruction of their long 
established forms of religion. 

The Viceroy, Apodaca, who was now graced with the title of 
" Conde del Venadito," was also opposed to the new system, and 
discovered so much reluctance in the change of his measures, that 

54 [ 90 ] 

lus unwillingness and tardy mode of proceeding became evident to 
all, and gave occasion to many just and violent complaints that were 
made by its admirers, who publicly accused bim of its infraction, 
white the American writers, taking advantage of the liberty of the 
press, and confused and unsettled state of the public opinion, called 
aloud for independence as the only certain remedy for the numerous 
evils that surrounded them. 

The crisis was too important and obvious to escape the penetration 
of our hero Yturbide, who was also instigated to an immediate exe 
cution of the plan he had in consequence formed of liberating his coun 
try forever from its thraldom, by the mutiny of several of the officers 
of the regiment of the "Four Military Orders," that had before given 
many unequivocal proofs of disaffection and insubordination, which 
was supposed to extend to the soldiers of that corps, and by the depar 
ture of a convoy for Acapulco, with near a million of dollars, that 
was intended to be embarked in a ship bound to Manilla, that he re 
solved on detaining. He immediately, therefore, concerted his mea 
sures with the clergy and friars, and, with the specious pretext of up 
holding them in their privileges and immunities, secured their favor 
and protection. He also communicated his design to such of the go- 
\ernors of the provinces as he thought likely to aid him in the exe 
cution of it, and, on his arrival in Yguala, persuaded a great part of 
the troops under his command to join him in the undertaking, in the 
belief that the government secretly favored it, a circumstance that 
they at first readily gave credit to from their knowledge of the anti- 
constitutional sentiments of its leading members, but in which they 
were soon after undeceived, and, in consequence, not more than a 
thousand remained faithful of those' that espoused his party. The 
<lesign was also made known to Guerrero, Asensiu, and Bradburn, 
who pledged themselves to support him in the enterprise, and, thus 
prepared, he openly declared the independence of the kingdom, swear 
ing it in the most solemn manner at the head of his army, in the said 
town of Yguala, on the 24th day of February last, seizing, at the 
same time, and appropriating to the use of the nation, the treasure 
destined for the Manilla ship. 

His next step was to form a plan for the installation of the new 
government, a copy of which I enclose, and to give to his army the 
style and title of the "Army of the three Guarantees," from the pro 
tection it was to afford to the Catholic religion, to the independence of 
the kingdom, and to the indissoluble union between the Europeans 
and Americans. A copy of the plan was immediately sent by him to 
the Viceroy, with a letter, stating all that had passed, explaining his 
motives for having formed and adopted the new system, inviting him 
and the government to aid and assist in its establishment, and, final 
ly, naming the said Viceroy, the " Condede Cortina," arid the Pre 
sident of the Royal Audience, the members that were to compose the 
regency, reserving to himself the command that he had assumed of 
the national army. 

The Viceroy, had he been left to himself, would, I believe, have 

[ 90 ] 55 

assented to the proposal, from the vehement desire he has ever mani 
fested to avoid the effusion of blood, and the miseries concomitant to 
a renewal of the war, as well as from the conviction that the plan 
and policy adopted by Yturbide could not fail to gain him innumera 
ble friends, arsd to enable him, finally, to accomplish his views. It 
was necessary , however, to call to his counsel the members of the 
various tribunals of which the government was composed, as well as 
the principal military officers, all of whom, counting on the versatility 
that had been conspicuous in the American character up to that pe 
riod, resolved, unanimously, to maintain the then existing govern 
ment, in the belief that the few troops that had adhered to Iturbide, 
would leave him the instant the Royal army should approach Yguala. 

The old favorite system of blood and murder was also upheld, bat 
to this the Viceroy would not consent, and an amnesty was offered to 
all, not excepting Iturbide. The Field Marshal Linan was na i*'d 
commander in chief, and a numerous staff and army was committed 
to his charge. He was, however, so slow in his motions, that a de 
tachment of troops, sent by Iturbide, had taken possession of the town 
and castle of Acapulco, and he himself, with the remainder, were on 
march in the direction of Valladolid, before the army of Linan moved 
from its cantonment in the neighborhood of this city. 

The cry of independence was no sooner raised in Yguala than it 
spread in all parts, and an army was formed in the prov inces of Puebla 
and Vera Cruz, by the Colonels Herj'era, Bravo, and Santana, that 
took possession of the cities of Orizaba, Cordova, and Jalapa, which 
was a most important conquest, the two former being the depots of the 
I government tobacco, of which a prodigious quantity fell into the hands 
i of the Independents, with a large sum in specie; circumstances that 
were attended with the double advantage of being a powerful succor 
to them, and an i-reparable loss to the government, who counted on 
the remission to, and sale of, the tobacco in Mexico, as its principal 
means of supporting the war. 

In this state of things, it was resolved to divide the government 
army into three divisions; one of which, under the command of Col. 
M argues, was to retake Acapulco; another, commanded by Colonet 
Hebia, to march against the cities of Orizaba, Cordova, and Jalapa; 
and the third to return for the defence of this capital, on the suppo 
sition that Iturbide might suddenly change his route and take the 
city by surprize. It, however, soon appeared that his intention was 
very different, and that his object was to pass Valladolid and unite 
with a Col. Bustamente, of San Luis Potosi, who had risen at this 
critical period, and proceeded against the city of Guanajuato with a 
considerable pai t of his regiment of dragoons, declaring independence 
in all the cities and towns in the Bajio, the inhabitants of which re 
ceived him with open arms. On arriving at Guanajuato, it also sur 
rendered to him, and, as he was joined by the garrisons of the several 
places he passed through. Iturbide, on meeting him, found himself af 
the head of an army of five thousand men, including the divisions of 
Col. Barragan, and Major Parres, that left Valladolid with what 

56 [ 90 ] 

troops they could seduce, as soon as they knew of his intention to 
pass that way. With this respectable force it was determined to 
attack that city, which was the best fortified of any in the kingdom, 
and had a garrison of seventeen hundred men. It however made no 
defence, and its commandant, Col. Quintanar, and all but about 600 
of the troops, went over to Iturbide. 

At Guanajuato, which is one of the richest minerals in the king 
dom, a mint was established, that proved afterwards very servicea 
ble to the Independents, and injurious to the royal party, the silver 
from all the neighboring mines taking the direction of that city, in 
stead of Mexico. 

Acaptilco remained but a short time in possession of the Inde 
pendents, the castle having capitulated before the arrival of the divi 
sion of Colonel Margues, to two Spanish frigates that accidentally 
arrived there from Panama. San Juan del Rio, a fortified town be 
tween this city and Quiritaro, was next invested; the siege, however, 
lasted but a few days, the greater part of the garrison, being Ameri 
cans, deserted, and joined the Independents, obliging the few that 
remained to capitulate. 

The division of Col. Hebia that had marched, as before stated, 
against the cities of Orizaba, Cordova, and Jalapa, surprised Col. 
Bravo, with about fifteen hundred Independents, in the town of Te- 
peaca, about nine leagues from Puebla, who, unprepared for action, 
retired with his troops to a large convent of the order of San Fran 
cisco, that was constructed by Hernan Cortez, soon after the con 
quest, in the form of a fortress, to serve as a place of refuge for him 
and his followers, in the event of any sudden emergency. Hebia had 
with him his own regiment of " Castile," and other European troops, 
that equalled in number those of Bravo; a field piece was, however, 
necessary to make a breach in the wall of the convent, and to obtain 
this, he sent immediately to Puebla, asking, at the same time, for a 
reinforcement of five hundred men, that the success of the action 
might be placed beyond all doubt. Bravo, suspectin<^nis intention, 
resolved on a sortie, with the determination to cut his way and es 
cape, as Iturbide had given positive orders to all his officers to avoid 
the effusion of blood, and to act solely on the defensive, from the 
double motive of conciliating the enemy and avoiding the butchery of 
his countrymen; sensible where one European should be killed four 
or five Americans would fall, the number of the latter in the king's 
service exceeding greatly that of the former. In the first and second 
attempts he made, he was unsuccessful; the third, however, proved 
more fortunate, and he got off with the loss of fifty or sixty men, 
killing as many of those that were opposed to him. 

This was the first action that had occurred, and the result proved 
highly important to the Independent cause; the gallant conduct of 
their troops, inspiring an universal confidence, animating their com 
panions in arms throughout the kingdom to a singular and unexpect 
ed degree, and demonstrating to the political and military officers of 
the government of Mexico, that they had to contend with a brave and 

[ 90 ] 57 

Disappointed and chagrined at the result of the action, and unde 
ceived as to the sort of troops he had to deal with, Hebia proceeded 
on his march to Cordova, where he was killed in the first assault, 
arid his army obliged to retire from the siege by Colonel Herrera, 
and the valiant troops that defended the city. While these scenes of 
glory were achieving in the provinces of Pucbla and Vera Cruz, the 
siege of the city of Queretaro, one of the most beautiful in the king 
dom, andjthc third in rank, as respects size, opulence, and commerce, 
was pushed with much vigor by Iturbide in person. Its garrison 
was composed of nine hundred Europeans, drafted from various re 
giments, and about six hundred Americans, all under the command of 
Brigadier General Loaces, a native of the kingdom of Peru, colonel 
of the regiment of Zaragoza, and a brave and experienced officer. 
He had determined to make a vigorous arid desperate defence, and as 
the fate of the kingdom depended in a great measure on that of this 
city, the government resolved to abandon that of San Luis Potosi, 
and to succor Queretaro with the European regiment of Zamorathat 
was stationed there. The order to this effect was no sooner des 
patched, than Iturbide knew of it, and concerted measures to sur 
prize the troops on their march, which were so well executed, that 
they found themselves surrounded when they least expected it, by a 
body of three times their number, and compelled to surrender at dis 
cretion. This happy occurrence for the Independents was a death 
blow to the government, who found itself at once deprived of the 
important capital and province of San Luis Potosi, that were imme 
diately occupied by the Independents, and without the means of con 
tributing to the relief of Queretaro, which capitulated shortly after, 
the American part of the garrison joining Iturbide, as usual, and the 
Europeans going on parole to Celaya, until such time as they could 
be transported to the Havanna. These troops, to their eternal dis 
grace, proposed afterwards to their colonel to rise and march to 
Mexico; but he, like a man of honor, sent the letter to Iturbide, who 
immediately ordered them to be disarmed and dispersed. 

The next action of any importance was in the neighborhood of 
Toluca, 14 leagues from the city, between the regiment of Fernan 
do 7th, commanded by Colonel Castillo, and a body of the Indepen 
dents of an equal number, under the orders of Colonel Filisola, 
which was indecisive, both parties claiming the victory, after an 
obstinate battle in which more than two hundred were left dead on 
the field, and the Independents in possession of two cannon that their 
opponents were obliged to abandon. 

At this period, General Negrete, commander of the troops in the 
province of Guadalaxara, rose with the whole of his army, obliged 
the Commandant General Don Jose de la Cruz, to fly from the capi^ 
tal of that name, where, and in all other parts of the province, in 
dependence \vas sworn; the commerce of the port of San Bias was 
also declared free to all nations. Cruz took the road leading to the 
internal provinces, with the intention, it was said, of uniting with 
Brigadier Don Joaquin Arredondo, commandant general of the east- 

58 [' 90 ] 

ern provinces, of raising an army in union with linn, and of return 
ing, cither to reconquer his own province, or to the aid of that of 
Mexico. Arredondo had, however, already caused independence to 
be sworn throughout his district, and on hearing this, Cruz made a 
halt in the city of Zacatecas, but, being pursued by Negrete, fled to 
Durango, the capital of the province of New Biscay, carrying with 
him a large sum in specie, that he found in the treasury at Zacate 
cas, \vhicli city soon after surrendered to a detachment that was sent 
against it by the commandant of San Luis Potosi. 

On the death of Hebia, the command of the regiment of Castile 
devolved on Lieut. Colonel Luna, who on the fall of Queretaro was 
ordered to return to Mexico hy forced marches, in the expectation 
that Yturbide would now attack the capital; similar orders were also 
sent to Colonel M argues, in whose division was a principal part of 
the insubordinate regiment of the "four military orders." The male 
inhabitants of Mexico, from the age of 16 to 50, were also ordered to 
enrol themselves in the miiitia, without exception or distinction of 
persons, and every possible precaution taken to prevent a surprize, 
and maintain the city until such time as an answer should be receiv 
ed to dispatches that had been sent to Spain, or troops should arrive 
that were expected from the Havanna. 

All this, however, was not sufficient to allay the rancor that a 
certain part of the community had conceived against the Vice Roy, 
nor to convince them of his upright intentions, or extinguish the sparks 
of insubordination I have already hinted at in some of the European 
troops, which, from the first, was more immediately directed at his per 
son than at the government. A report was therefore industriously cir 
culated that he was in secret correspondence with Iturbide, and that 
there was no real intention to defend the city, notwithstanding the 
preparations that were ostensibly making for its protection: the whole 
a prelude to the scandalous revolution of the 5th of July, which had 
for its object the arrest of that most excellent man, and, without 
'doubt was accomplished by dint of money paid by the merchants to the 
oiliccrs that took par-tin the affray, who had the temerity to secure 
the persons of theirjcolonels, and other principal military men opposed 
to their project, to assault the palace and make a prisoner of the Vice 
Roy, and afterwards the audacity to place against its gates, and the 
corners of the principal streets, for the information of the public, 
who were HO many witnesses of their atrocity, a paper, setting forth 
that he had of his own accord, and at the respectful petition of the 
officers of the European regiments, delivered the political and mili 
tary command of the kingdom to Field Marshal Don Francisco No 
vella, the person they had pitched upon as the leader of the faction. 

This gentleman had under his command the various corps of artil 
lery and engineers that existed in the kingdom; and as his education 
and occupation until now had been altogether confined to that line, 
you will readily imagine him entirely unfit for the discharge of the 
arduous and complicated duties of Vice Roy of these extensive pro 

[ 90 ] 59 

Indeed, he himself was sensible of his incompetence, and very 
prudently declined the offer; as unsuitable, however, as he was, there 
was no other person they could avail themselves of that was less so. 
and the same necessity that compelled them to name him, obliged him 
to accept the appointment. From a government constituted by the 
insubordination of a few soldiers that had the vanity to compare 
their iniquitous conduct with the noble enthusiasm of the .Spanish 
nation, which, tired of obeying tyrants that abused the goodness of 
their monarch, rose in amass to recover the rights of which they had 
unjustly been deprived, no good was to be expected, and we see it 
employed from its very commencement in destroying the constitution 
al regimen, of which it did not leave a vestige, and in substituting the 
most arbitrary and tyrannical system that it is possible to imagine, all of 
whichwas fomented and sanctioned by a body that Novella had crea 
ted with the denomination of the " Junta Consultiva," composed of a 
few individuals who had contributed with their money to place the 
power in his hands, \vere furious at seeing approah the expiratjon of 
their authority, and with sentiments diametrically opposed to the sys 
tem of liberality and philanthropy at present predominant. 

At the time these scenes of horror were transacting in the capital, 
and to which I myself had like to have been a victim, notwithstand 
ing the great prudence I observed in my deportment, a bloody occur 
rence took place in Vera Cruz, in consequence of the storm of that 
city by a party of troops commanded by an inconsiderate but brave 
young officer, named Santana, who scaled the walls and got complete 
possession of the town, but was afterwards obliged to retire with 
great loss, his soldiers having abandoned their arms with a view to 
plunder, and the inhabitants setting upon them when in that defence 
less state. 

The city of Puebla delos Angeles, the largest in the kingdom ex 
cept Mexico, next attracted the attention of General Iturbide, in 
front of which was a large army of independents, composed of the divi 
sions of the Conde de la Cadena, Herrera, Bravo, Filisola, and others, 
that only awaited the orders of their general to make the attack, and to 
prevent which and the loss of many valuable lives, he went in person, 
preferring in all cases the plan he had from the4irst adopted of redu 
cing his enemies by means of persuasion and negotiation rather than 
by force of arms. The fate of Puebla was all-important to the go 
vernment in the critical situation in which it found itself, being one of 
the chain of fortified towns that connect Mexico with Vera Cruz, to 
which port it had resolved to retire with the European part of the 
army and inhabitants, in the event of not being able to sustain itself 
in the capital. Puebla was, therefore, well garrisoned, served with 
an excellent park of artillery, and defended with many cannon of a 
large calibre, so that its commander in chief, Brigadier Don Ciriaco 
Llano, the Marquis de Vivanco, and other experienced officers sta 
tioned there, had, until the last, sanguine hopes of being able to de 
fend it. Iturbide, however, called to his assistance a part of the ar- 

60 C 90 3 

my be had left in Queretaro, and surrounded the city with so many 
troops that resistance would have been nothing short of an act of 
madness; it therefore capitulated. 

On the surrender of Puebla, the army of Iturbide, which had now 
augmented to the number of about eighteen thousand, and which was 
composed entirely of veteran troops that had been disciplined in the 
King's service, and had gone over to him clandestinely, or joined 
him on the fall of the various cities he had conquered, received orders 
to march in separate columns to different towns in the neighbourhood 
of Mexico, with the intention of manifesting to the government of 
that city the folly of any further resistance. It was, however, en 
tirely in vain that the general had adopted this prudent measure, in 
vain that one or two praiseworthy citizens had ventured to reason 
on the subject with Sen. Novella, and in vain that he was assured he 
could not rely on more than one third part of the troops that compos 
ed the garrison; war! war! was the cry of him and his junta con- 
sultiya, and the motto they wore on their hats and that was worn by 
all tneir officers and troops was " Vivir y morir feiles y utiles." 

Iturbide, after having rested a few days in Puebla, and partaken 
of the effusion of gratitude manifested towards him by the good 
people of that city, was on the point of leaving it, with the intention of 
fixing his head quarters near the town of Chalco, and directing from 
thence the attack that was to have been made on Mexico, when he 
received a letter from Lieutenant General Don Juan O'Donoju, 
who had recently arrived at Vera Cruz, informing him that he had 
been named by the King of Spain Captain General and Political 
Chief of the Kingdom, and had accepted the appointment at the so 
licitation of his friends, the Representatives of America in the Cortes 
of Spain, that he had risked his health and life, and sacrificed his 
convenience, at a period when he intended to retire from the public 
service, without any other desire than that of acquiring the love arid 
esteem of the people of New Spain, and without other sentiments than 
those of tranquillizing the disastrous inquietude that reigned in the 
Kingdom; not by consolidating or perpetuating the despotism that 
existed, or prolonging the colonial dependence, nor falling into the 
errors or imitating the defects of many of his predecessors, in sup 
porting a system of government, the tyranny and injustice of which 
arose from the barbarity of the age in which it was established, but 
by reforming the ideas of the misled, calming the passions of the 
exasperated, and pointing out to the people generally the mode of ob 
taining with security, and without the horrible sacrifice they were 
making, the happiness which the illustration of the era in which they 
lived, had induced them to seek after, arid which no rational person 
could disapprove; he also required Iturbide to appoint a place at 
which they could have an interview, and realize the sincere and ar 
dent desire he had to prevent the evils and misfortunes inseparable to 
a state of hostility, until such time as the treaty they might conclude, 
founded on the basis of the plan published in Yguafa, should be rati 
fied by the King and Cortes'. 

[ 90 ] 61 

"What a blow was this to the existing government of Mexico, and 
to those that preceded it since the year 1810; what a contrast to their 
iniquitous and shameful mode of proceeding! The wise and beneficent 
O'Uonoju, reading the public papers of the Independents, applaud 
ing the enterprize of their hero Iturbide, confirming his ideas, com 
mending his virtues, and desiring his friendship, as he does in the 
conclusion of his letter: while the intrusive Novella and his Junta 
Consultiva, in imitation of their barbarous predecessors Vanegas and 
Calleja, were persecuting with unrelenting fury, and almost to death 
itself, those that communicated with the Independents, or in whose 
possession should be found any of their seditious writings; proscribing 
the chiefs of the revolution, and heaping upon them every species of 
reproach and ignominy! 

But the scene had changed, the star of liberty that rose in our own 
country had happily spread its influence in the more eastern and west 
ern hemispheres, and displayed to the world the criminal conduct of 
the Caligulas and Neros that had for such a length of time dishonor 
ed Spain and abused human nature. 

This letter of O'Donojti, with another that he wrote to Sor. Novel 
la, were sent by Iturbide to the Mexican government, accompanied 
with a proposal for the suspension of arms until such times as the defi 
nitive treaty should be signed in Cordova, the city named by Iturbide 
as the point of conference. Novella would, however, hear to nothing 
of the sort, and the letters were declared spurious, notwithstanding 
that Sor. Alcocer, a venerable curate of this city, who had been inti 
mately acquainted with O'Donoju in Spain, proved to the junta the 
identity of the signatures, by shewing others that he had in his pos 
session; which contumacy on the part of Novella, exasperated Itur 
bide so much that tie set off for Cordova, leaving orders with his 
generals for the immediate occupation of the towns of Tacuba, Tacu- 
baya, Azcapuzalco, and Guadalupe, neither of which were distant 
more than half a league from Mexico, and all of them in possession 
of the .European troops. 

This was an unexpected circumstance to Novella and the junta, 
who had the folly and vanity to suppose they could frighten the Inde 
pendents from the execution of their plan by means of the silly pro 
clamations they almost daily issued, in which they affected to despise 
their number, challenged them openly to commence the attack, and 
declared the generals Luaces and Llano traitors to their king and 
country for having surrendered the cities of Queretaro and Puebla. 
The heroes of Tepeaca, Cordova, and Toluca, were, however, not so 
easily scared, and a column of fifteen hundred men sent by Colonel 
Bustamante against Azcapuzalco, presented to the inhabitants of 
Mexico the sight of a most bloody and desperate action, that took 
place between them and an equal number of the regiments of Castile 
and Military Orders that composed the garrison of Azcapuzalco, the 
result of which was at least six hundred killed and wounded, and 
the abandonment of the town by the Europeans: a few days after an 
attempt was made to dislodge the Europeans that were stationed IR 

62 [ 90 ] 

Guadalupe, by means of cannon placed on a neighbouring hill, and 
\vhile this operation was carrying on by a part of the Independents, 
and others were taking possession of Tacuba and Tacubaya, from both 
of which towns the Europeans had retired, an aid de camp arrived with 
a copy of the treaty of Cordova, concluded between General O'Do- 
ju and Iturbide, arid an order from the former to Sor. Novella, com 
manding him to obey him as captain general of the kingdom, to cause 
him to be recognized as such by the troops, to cease all hostilities 
from the instant he should receive the order, and to adopt measures 
for the evacuation of the city. This peremptory mandate on one 
side, and the near approach of the Independents on the other, plac 
ed Novella, the junta, and their European troops, in an awkward 
predicament, inasmuch as if they obeyed the order, they would be 
subject to arrest and trial for the scandalous imprisonment of the 
late viceroy, and if they refused compliance, to be treated as rebels 
against the king's authority; their object therefore, was to shelter 
themselves from the punishment they had justly deserved in the best 
manner they could. And, with this view, although they were per 
fectly convinced of the presence of O'Donoju in the kingdom, and of 
the reality of the treaty signed in Cordova* they nevertheless affected 
to doubt the truth of one and the other, alleging that all might be 
a stratagem of Iturbide, and on this frivolous pretext refused to eva 
cuate the city. On the deposition of the Conde del Venadito, the 
Junta Provincial, Ayuntamunto, and other bodies corporate, hesi 
tated to acknowledge the authority of Novella, but were obliged to 
do so eventually, from the fear of the bayonets he had at his command. 

Now, however, that they were surrounded by the independents and 
backed by O'Donoju, they openly protested againt his proceedings, 
and, in consequence, he was obliged to ask for an armistice, and 
compelled to send one of the junta consultiva to Puebla to ascertain, 
as he said, the identity of the captain general. This envoy, who had 
hitherto been one of the most strenuous supporters of the measures of 
Novella, and one of the most active members of the junta, received 
such a fright from the lecture O'Donoju gave him, that he imme 
diately returned, explained folly to Novella all that had passed, and 
forever afterwards ceased to meddle in the matters at issue. Novella 
was also inclined to succumb, and would have renounced his employ, 
had it not been for fear of the troops, he having lost all authority, 
and they having usurped the command, so that the city was in the 
utmost anarchy and confusion, and dreading at every instant a gene 
ral massacre and pillage, with which it had been threatened daily for 
near a month, and which would most assuredly have succeeded, had 
it not been for the proximity and number of the independent army, 
that cut off all possibility of escape for the European troops, whose 
idea was to commit all sorts of enormity, rob what they could, and 
take the road for Vera Cruz. 

Things had got to that pass, that it was impossible to confide in a 
servant, and dangerous to do so to a friend, every thing like social 
intercourse was at an end, those that could with any sort of conve- 

[ 90 ] 63 

uience leave tfae city fled, and those that were obliged to remain, 
sought security in their houses, so that, in this once populous metro 
polis, there was scarce a soul to he seen. In this state of things the 
generals O'Donoju and Iturbide, arrived at Tacuhaya, and the for 
mer had an interview with Sor. Novella, in the course of which lie- 
gave him to understand the impropriety of his conduct in resisting 
the legitimate authority as long as he did, the impossibility of de 
fending the city, and the certainty of the massacre of the Europeans, 
should it be taken by assault; remonstrated with him respecting the 
insubordination of the troops, pointed out to him the illegality of their 
conduct, and enjoined him to prevent the effusion of blood, by exer 
cising the little influence he had with the subaltern otticers and sol 
diers, in the understanding that he would not take upon him to scru 
tinize their conduct in the arrest of the late vice roy, but leave them 
to exculpate themselves in the best^way they could on arriving in 
Spain. The following day news was received of the surrender of the 
city Durango, and General Cruz, to General Negrete, after an ob 
stinate resistance, in the course of which many lives were lost, and 
the declaration of independence in the western internal provinces, 
under the command of field marshal Alexo Garcia Conde, so that if 
the soldiers of Novella had before any hope, it now entirely disap 
peared, and, in order to avoid a disgraceful capitulation, were 
obliged to acknowledge the supremacy of general O'Donoju, obey 
his orders by evacuating the city and march to that of Toluca, there 
to wait until it was convenient for them to embark. 

To complete the independence of the kingdom there was now want 
ing the declaration of the province of Merida de Yucatan, which fol 
lowed almost immediately the surrender of Acapulco, the castle of 
Perote and Vera Cruz, the two former of which capitulated soon af 
ter, and the latter has without doubt ere this followed their example, 
advice having been received yesterday by the government that it was 
on the eve of surrendering. The province of Guatemala, which has 
always been a separate vice royalty from that of Mexico, was also 
sensible of the general impulse, and desirous of becoming an inte 
gral part of the Mexican empire, has likewise sworn independence, 
which, without doubt, will extend to its neighboring provinces, Hon 
duras, Nicaragua, Costa Pica and Veragua, so that we may from 
this instant consider North America, with the exception of Canada, 
as divided into two grand and important commonwealths, that may, 
with the aid of those that are forming in South America, be able, in 
the course of time, to give the law to the opposite continent. 

I am very far from believing myself possessed of the qualities ne 
cessary to treat with the energy and exactness that it merits, a subject 
of the importance of that on which I have ventured to write, and cer 
tainly should not have had the temerity to have touched upon it, had 
it not been for the particular situation in which I found myself, an 
eye witness of all that passed, and from the conviction I have ever 
been under, that each individual is bound to contribute towards the 
good of his country to the utmost of his ability, be it great or small: 

6>4 [ 90 ] 

With this view, therefore, I shall, now that I have finished my narra 
tive, take the liberty to add a few remarks, and to say in the first 
place, that the revolution which I have attempted to describe, is not 
one of those that have been accomplished by means of unbridled pas 
sions, cruelty, rancour, or revenge, but, on the contrary, has, from its 
commencement, been accompanied with brotherly love, patriotism, 
disinterestedness, truth and good faith, so that the more I reflect on its 
origin and progress, the more is my admiration excited, and the more 
am I tempted to exclaim, that America has produced two of the 
greatest heroes that ever existed, Washington and Iturbide. Secondly, 
that the new government is established on a sure and solid founda 
tion, the people being highly delighted with it, and the subordinate 
chiefs, officers and soldiers, having one and all implicitly followed 
the example of moderation set them by then magnanimous leader, 
who, to obviate strife, envy, and emulation, has absolutely refused 
the crown, and insisted that the emperor shall come from Spain, as 
he first proposed in the town of Yguala. Indeed, the plan there pub 
lished has been adhered to, with the most religious scrupulosity, ex 
cept the slight variations made in it by the treaty of Cordova at the 
suggestion of general O'Donoju, and the empire is in consequence 
governed by a regency of five of its most distinguished and enlight 
ened statesmen, who have elected general Iturbide President, and 
appointed him commander in chief of the land and sea forces, and 
by a convention, of thirty-six of the principal personages in the em 
pire, as respects talents, rank, and riches. The independence is to 
be sworn in this city on the 27th inst. and the Cortes are to meet on 
the 24th of February next, the anniversary of the declaration iu 
Yguala. In the mean time, the convention will be employed in enact 
ing the most salutary decrees, and among those already passed is 
one declaring the commerce of this empire free to all nations; anoth 
er, doing away all the arbitrary taxes, impositions, and excises, im 
posed by the former government; a third, reducing the duties from 
sixteen to six per cent; a fourth, for the encouragement of the Mi 
ners, relinquishing to them the quota of silver formerly paid to the 
King, with other imposts that amounted to seventeen per cent, so 
that many poor minerals that could not be worked before, can now" 
be used to advantage; and a fifth, recognizing and making the new 
government responsible for the debt contracted by the old one, of 
thirty-six millions of dollars. 

That there is a strong bias in the minds of the people of this coun 
try in favor of the government and citizens of the United States in 
preference to all other nations, is beyond a doubt; and that the con 
vention, of which four-fifths are native Americans, and the regency 
which is composed entirely of them, are actuated with the same sen 
timents, is also certain. On this subject I have had various conferen 
ces with the leading members of the administration, whose senti 
ments will be fully explained to you shortly by Don Juan Manuel 
de Elizalda, the minister plenipotentiary that is already named, and 
now preparing to go to Washington, where I have do doubt he will 

[ 90 ] 65 

lie received and acknowledged as the representative of a free and in 
dependent nation, the Mexican empire being so at this time to all 
intents and purposes, in the first place, by the unanimous wish and 
consent, power and authority, of its inhabitants, and, secondly, by the 
treaty signed at Cordova, between the generals O*Donoju and Itur 
bide, the deputed agents of Spain and this empire. 

Your most obedient humble servant, 



Treaties concluded in the city of Cordova, on the 24th instant, be*- 
tween the Senors D. Juan O'Donoju, Lieutenant Ge^.e- ai of the ar 
mies of Spain, and D. Augustin de Iturbide, first chief of the Imperial 
Mexican Army of theThree Guarantees. 

The independence of New upon Old Spain being declared, and it 
Laving an army capable of supporting this declaration, the provinces 
of the kingdom being subdued by it, the capital, where the legitimate 
authority had been deposited, being besieged, and when there o*\ly 
remained for the European government the fortresses of Vera Cmz 
and Acapulco, dismantled and without the means of resisting a siege 
well directed, and which would last some time Lieutenant Genes-al 
D. Juan O'Donoju arrived at the first port with the character and au 
thority of Captain General and superior political Chief of this king 
dom, appointed by His Catholic Majesty, who, being desirous of 
avoiding the evils which afflict the people in vicissitudes of this sort, 
and trying to conciliate the interests of both Spains, invited the first 
Chief of the Imperial Army, D. Augustin de Iturbide, to an interview, 
in which they might discuss the great business of the independence, 
by loosening without breaking the chains which united the two conti 
nents. The interview took place in the city of Cordova, on the 24th 
of August, 1821, and the first with the authority of his character, and 
the latter with that of the Mexican Empire; after having conferred 
at length on what was most proper for both nations, considering the 
present situation and the last occurrences, agreed upon the following 
articles, which they signed by duplicates, to give them all the force of 
which documents of this sort are capable, each one keeping an origi 
nal in his possession for the greater security and validity. 

1. This America shall be recognized as a sovereign and indepen 
dent nation, and shall in future be called the Mexican Empire. 

2. The Government of the Empire shall be a constitutional limited 

3. There shall be named to reign in the Mexican Empire (after the 
oath which the 4th article of the plan points out) in the first place the 
Senor D. Ferdinand VII. Catholic King of Spain, and upon his re 
nunciation or non-admission, his brother, the most serene Senor Infant 
D. Carlos; upon his renunciation or non-admission, the most serene 


6 [ 90 ] 

Senor Infant D. Francisco de Paula; upon his renunciation or noil- 
admission the most serene Senor D. Carlos Luis, Infant of Spain, for 
merly heir of Etruria, now of Lucca, and upon his renunciation or 
hon-admission, he whom the Cortes of the Empire shall designate. 

4. The Emperor shall fix his Court in Mexico, which shall be the 
capital of the Empire, 

5. Two Commissioners shall he appointed by His Excellency Gen 
eral O'Donoju, who shall go to the Court of Spain to place in the Roy 
al hands of Senor D. Ferdinand VII, a copy of this treaty, and the 
exposition which shall accompany it for the service of His Majesty 
first* whilst the Cortes of the Empire offer him the crown, with all 
the formalities and guarantees, which a business of so much impor 
tance demands; and intreat His Majesty that in the case of the 3d 
article he deign to notify their Serene Highnesses the Infants men 
tioned in same article in the order in which they are named; inter 
posing his benign influence that one of those personages designated 
from his august house may come to this Empire, inasmuch as the 
prosperity of both nations is concerned in it; and for the satisfaction 
which the Mexicans will receive in adding this to the other bonds of 
friendship with which Spaniards can and desire to be united. 

6. There shall be immediately appointed, according to the spirit 
of the plan of Jguala, a Junta composed of the first men of the Em 
pire for their virtues, for their stations, for their fortunes, authority 
and judgment, of those who are designated by the general opinion, 
the Dumber of whom may be very considerable, that the union of 
lights may ensure the success of their determinations, which are eman 
ations of the authority and powers which the following articles grant 

7. The junta, of which the following article treats, shall be named 
the provisional Junta of Government. 

8. Lieutenant General D. Juan O'Donoju shall be one of the pro 
visional Junta of the Government, in consideration of the conveni 
ence of a person of his rank taking an active and immediate part in 
the government, and from its heing indispensable to omit some of 
those who were designated in the said plan in conformity with its 
very spirit. 

. 9. The provisional junta of government shall have a President ap* 
pointed by itself, and whose election shall take place in one of its own 
members or not, who shall have an absolute plurality of votes; 
and if an election does not take effect at the first voting, they shall 
proceed to a second scrutiny, beginning with the two \vho may have 
together most votes. 

10. The fii-st step of the provisional junta of government shall be, 
to publish its installation, and the motives which unite it, with the 
explanations which it may consider proper, to illustrate to thepeople 
their interests, and the mode of proceeding in the election of Depu 
ties to the Cortes, of which mention shall be made hereafter. 

11. The provisional junta of government shall appoint, af f erthe 
election of its President, a Regency composed of three persons, ei* 

its<nvrt members or otherwise, in which shall he vested the 

[ 90 ] 67 

executive power, and which shall govern in the name of the monarch^ 
until he shall take the sceptre of the empire. 

12. The provisional junta being installed, shall govern provision 
ally according to the existing laws, in every thing not opposed to the 
plan of Iguala, and until the Cortes form the Constitution of the 

13. The Regency, immediately after being appointed, shall proceed 
to the convocation of the Cortes, agreeable to the method which the 
provisional Junta of Government may determine; in conformity to 
the spirit of the 24th article of the said plan. 

14. The executive power is vested in the Regency, the legislative 
in the Cortes; but as it has happened for some time before that they 
were united, that both may not again fall under one authority, the 
Junta shall exercise the legislative power, first in the cases which may 
occur, and which cannot await the meeting of the Cortes; and then 
shall proceed in accordance with the Regency: secondly, to serve as} 
an auxiliary and consultive body to the Regency in its determina 

15. Every person who belongs to a society, the system of govern 
ment being changed, or the country passing into the power of ano 
ther Prince, remains in the state of natural liberty to transport him 
self with his fortune, to what place he pleases, without there being 
any right to deprive him of this liberty, (unless he shall have contract* 
ed some debt with the society to which he belonged, by crime, or iu 
other ways known to publicists:) in this case Europeans are admitted 
into New Spain, and the Americans resident in the Peninsula; con 
sequently, thty shall be free to remain, adopting this or that country! 
or to demand their passports, which cannot be refused to them, for re* 
moving from the realm in the time prefixed, bringing or carrying 1 
with him their families and effects; but satisfying, at the departure of 
the last, the established duties of exportation, or which may hereaf* 
ter be established by competent authority. 

16. The former alternative shall not have place with respect to 
public officers or military men, who are notoriously disaffected to the 
independence of Mexico; but these shall of necessity quit this empire 
within the term which the Regency may prescribe, carrying away 
their property, and paying the duties mentioned in the preceding ar^ 

17. The occupation of the capital by the troops of the peninsula^ 
being an obstacle to the realizing of this treaty, it becomes indispen-* 
sable to overcome it; but, as the first chief of the imperial army, 
uniting his sentiments to those of the Mexican nation, is desirous not 
to take it by force, because there are abundant resources, notwith-* 
standing the valor and constancy of the said peninsular troops, for- 
the want of means and ability to support themselves against the sys^ 
tern adopted by the whole nation Don Juan O'Donoju offers to USQ 
his authority, that the said troops may complete their 

63 [ 90 T 

without the effusion of blood, arid by an honorable capitulation,. 
City of Cordova. 24th August, 1821. 


A faithful copy of the original. 


A faithful copy of the original which remains in this commandan- 
ey general. 



As assistant Secretary, 



The Regency of the Empire has been pleased to address to me the 
following decree: 

The Regency of the Empire, provisional governor in absence of 
the Emperor, to all who shall see or hear these presents: Know ye, 
that the Sovereign Junta of provisional government has decreed as 

" In consequence of the desire expressed in the official letter of the 
23d of October last, by His Excellency D. Augustin de Iturbide, 
that this sovereign Junta would be pleased to determine the powers 
and duties belong! rig to him as Admiral Generalissimo, for the lauda 
ble purpose of not exceeding in the former, nor coming short in the 
latter, ms Majesty has thought fit to declare: That the prerogatives, 
powers, and honors, designated in the fifteen following articles, be 
long exclusively to him. 

ART. 1. He shall have command of the forces by sea and land, 
comprehending in his government the economical and administrative, 
according to the laws; consequently, all propositions of office, in both 
branches, shall pass through his hand, of officers and chiefs, from 
those of brigadier, inclusive, downwards, in the land army, and the 
equivalents in the other branches: He shall propose also for the go 
vernments of garrisons, commanders of provinces, captains general, 
and shall countersign the despatches of all these offices, receiving 
them from the Emperor, and passing them to the Secretary of War, 
for their progress. 

ART. 2. He shall direct the instruction of military colleges, and of 
corps of all the armories of the army and marine. 

ART. 3. The inspection of the manufactures of gunpowder, arms, 
munitions, and clothing, shall be his province, with every thing else 
which relates to those branches. Also, he shall have charge of all 
that relates to arsenals, artillerists, manufactures, &c. belonging to 
the marine. 

[90] 69 

ART. 4. He shall watch over the disbursement of the military 
treasury for sea and land, and the just distribution of the funds des 
tined for those branches. 

ART. 5. He shall attend to the distribution and movements of the 
land and sea forces, according to the orders of the Emperor which 
he may receive for that purpose. 

ART, 6. He shall be the protector of commerce, navigation, police, 
and the works of the ports, as well as of the fortifications of the for 
tresses of the empire, with the powers of admiral. 

ART. 7. He shall grant passports and licences for navigation, ac 
cording to the orders of the Emperor. 

ART. 8. The Secretary of Despatch of War and Marine, and that 
of the Treasury, in what concerns those branches, shall send to him 
for his information the imperial orders which have been sent by the 
ministers relative to them. 

ART. 9. Preserving the etat major of the army, under the plan 
which is approved, according to the proposition of the generalissimo 
himself, he shall name two generals, who, as chiefs of it, may commu 
nicate the orders which they give; and may also pursue, in their 
name, the correspondence with the Secretaries of State, for facilitat 
ing the expedition of business. 

ART. 10. When the Etat Major of Marine is formed, he shall ap 
point one of the generals mentioned in the former article, or shall ap 
point a third, if the multiplicity of business require it, for the discharge 
of the duties, and attaining the ends mentioned. 

ART. 11. He shall have the title of highness; but in official letters 
which may be addressed to him the aforesaid signature shall be omit 
ted, to preserve this distinction for the Regency. 

ART. 12. His guard shall be composed of two companies of infant 
ry, with a banner, which shall present arms and beat a march. This 
guard shall only do honors to the persons of the Imperial family. 

ART. 13. When he goes out there shall go before four body guards, 
and behind an escort of twenty men, commanded by their officer. 

ART. 14. In the court and residence of the Emperor, the posts of 
the place shall do him correspondent honors. 

ART. 15. On his entrance to, and departure from, the fortresses 
and garrisons, the troops shall be drawn up and the artillery shall sa 
lute him with twenty-one guns, he having, in every thing, by sea and 
land, supremfe military honors. 

The Regency shall take the charge of disposing its execution, and 
that it be printed, published and circulated. 

Mexico, 14th November, 1821. First of the Independence of this 


Vocal Secretary* 

To the REGENCY of the Empire*" 

70 [ 90 ] 

Therefore, we command all tribunals, justices, chiefs, governors, 
and other authorities, as well civil as military and eccl \siastic, of 
whatever class and dignity, that they keep, and cause keep, fulfil^ 
and execute, the present decree in all its parts. Ye shall attend to 
its execution, and provide for its being printed, published, and circu 

In Mexico, the 14th of November, 1821. 


ANTONIO, Bishop of Puebla. 

By order of the Regency of the Empire, I communicate this to you 
for your information. 

God preserve you many years. 

Mexico , 1 5th November, 1821. 


Manifesto of the Provisional Board of Government) to the People of the 


After the long night of three ages, in which America has lain 
plunged in darkness, the aurora of her felicity at last burst forth; that 
day dawned for which she had sighed, and which she desires may be 
perpetual. This consummation would never have been obtained, if it 
had not been founded in justice, nor if justice herself were not to be 
the base of the government which is to consolidate it. But the junta 
has the satisfaction to announce, that both considerations are combin 
ed in the emancipation which we have accomplished. 

Nature has marked out the territories of nations by rivers, moun 
tains, and other boundaries, which establish their limits. How ma- 
Hy states are divided by the Po arid the Rhine, as the Alps and the Py 
renees divide France from Italy and from Spain. From this last, 
immense seas and a vast distance divide America; distances which 
not only make them different as kingdoms, but establish them as be 
longing to two different worlds. Policy must necessarily conform 
to the order of nature, and as it would be monstrous to put in the 
same space the contrary elements of fire and water, it is equally so, 
to unite in one province, people who are distinct and distant, espe 
cially if that difference and distance extend to the extremity of the 
two worlds. Since then it embraces all the contrarieties which 
climate can originate, two vast globes, and opposite movements, 
cannot revolve without embarrassment upon one axis, but each re 
quires its own; in the same manner, two empires of distinct and op 
posite qualities, require two governments, without being susceptible 
r>f facing united in one, which is never sufficient to govern both well. 

[90} 71 

If, occasionally, the order of nature is violated, in departing from 
the boundaries she fixes, it must happen, as with fire enclosed in the 
mines, that an explosion will finally take place. The two Spains, 
old and new, or, which is the same thing, Castile and Mexico, which 
have hitherto home those names, belong to distinct regions of the 
earth, to different portions of the globe, to opposite zones of the 
sphere; differences, which at once evince the justice of their separa 
tion. If they have been united, as Esau and Jacob, in the womb of 
Rebecca, atid have long remained so; this alone, giving to the latter 
her growth, has rendered it necessary that they should separate, as 
these twinsdid, first in the maternal bosom, and afterwards in their 

The growth of nations constitutes, successively, their youth and 
virility, ages which demand their separation. It is very natural 
that when a nation lias arrived at these ages, she should refuse to de 
pend upon one whose assistance she no longer needs, in order to 
act for herself. If, even among brutes, the teats of the dam are for 
saken by the offspring, which has now become capable of receiving 
other aliment than milk; if the chick whose wings have grown, flies 
alone, and no longer suffers itself to be conducted by the bird which 
formerly transported it; if the pubescent virgin, consents to the nup 
tials which compel her to abandon the paternal dwelling, in order 
to form a new family; is it riot just that America, having acquired 
the strength which justifies it, should emancipate herself? 

It has been long since she arrived at her youth; but it has also been 
long since assent was refused to her emancipation, for before that was 
accomplished she had attained the age of virility, which justifies it 
still more. The qualifications which demonstrate that age are to be 
found in her both the moral ones of refinement and intelligence, and 
the physical ones of arms and population. The increase of their 
families alone prevented Abraham and Lot from dwelling in common, 
and they took different routes in order to live separate. 

Why then deny to America the justice which may assist her in 
emancipating herself, supposing this to be her situation and circum 
stances? Must she not listen to the voice of nature, which speaks to 
her even through her insensible organs? May she not burst, like the 
plant, the teguments which covered her when young? Must she be 
forever in pupilage though at the age of puberty, and must she remain 
a child of the family even when she is both able and willing to shake 
off the paternal authority? But even this is not all: nature tells her 
still more, especially through the organ of reason. 

Whenever the bird can force the door of its cage, or any oth^r ani 
mal break the ligaments which confine it, they do not hesitate a mo 
ment in doing so, for reason teaches them to seek their own happi 
ness. This is what justifies still more the independence of America. 
She has been able to burst her fetters in order to acquire her liberty, 
and to escape from the yoke which impeded her prosperity, and placed 
her labor, industry, commerce, and all her movements, within such 
bounds and restraints as might enfeeble them., in order to make pre- 

72 [ 9Q ] 

ponderant the importance of the mother country, or rather in order 
that the sole and absolute power might be vested in the latter. Be 
tween the power and performance in this rase, and with respect to 
such high and interesting objects as are dictated by nature and de 
monstrated by reason, there ought to be no space whatever, for they 
immediately touch each other. 

The provisional board of government installed for these purposes, 
in consequence of their attainment, and the occupation of the capital, 
has no other view than them. It has been assembled in order to found, 
perfect, and perpetuate them. The fundamental principles of go 
vernment which they have adopted, appertain to the first: the mode 
of procedure upon which they have resolved, to the second: the ties 
and ligaments which they have proposed to themselves, to the third: 
and they expose it all to the people, in order that they mav judge of 
the sincerity and propriety of their intentions and conduct. 

The foundations should correspond t> tlie edifice, and are what give 
it its principal strength. The principles of government which have 
been adapted conformable to the plan of Igt4ala and the treaty of 
Cordova, are those received by the most illustrious nations. A re 
presentative in preference to an absolute government, a limited 
monarchy, and a constitutional system with which \ve are already 
acquainted, are the fundamental maxims, the angular stone of our 
edifice. There is nothing to apprehend from the ideas opposed to 
these, nor from those which will not bear the light of day. Those 
which animate us are purely liberal. Until the meeting of the Cortes, 
the Spanish constitution and laws will be observed, so far as they are 
not inapplicable to the peculiar situation of the country. 

The plan of operations or mode of proceeding of the junta, has been 
to appoint a regency to exercise the executive power, reserving to 
itself the legislative power, for such purposes as cannot be delayed 
until the meeting of the Cortes, to whom this branch of the govern 
ment appertains. Had the junta assumed this power in its whole 
-extent, it would have usurped it from the people; but if it were not to 
exercise it provisionally in cases of urgency, the government would 
remain defective; the necessities of the moment could not be provided 
for, nor the thousand junctures which may present themselves, be met. 

To obviate both the one and the other, they have already prescrib 
ed to themselves a rule, not to sanction any thing, even provisional 
ly, unless its nature is such that it will not admit of being delayed 
until the meeting of the Cortes, to whom every thing else is refer 
red. The wisdom of their measures, which involves the perfection 
of the liberty and happiness of the people, depends upon the choice 
which they may make of proper representatives. The province of 
this Board is to inform them on the subject, in order, that all pas 
sions being laid aside, and intrigue and party spirit banished, they 
may have no other end in view than the welfare of the country. For 
this the Junta is now laboring, and to take such measures that the 
Congress may be assembled in as short a time as possible. 

[ 90 ] 73 

In the mean time, the puhlic debt, so called, has been acknowledged, 
and ordered to be paid as soon as affairs are in a condition to do soj 
at the same time, a stop has been put to the arbitrary contributions 
with which the inhabitants were oppressed, without any advantage 
to the Treasury. The first fact is announced for the satisfaction of 
the creditors, the second for that of the public, and both as an evi 
dence of the proceedings of the government. 

Would it were possible for the latter to pay another debt, much 
greater, and of a superior kind, of which it confesses itself a debtor. 
Such is that of the deserving army, which, animated by the purest 
patriotism, and braving dangers and difficulties at the expense of in 
expressible sacrifices, have consummated the arduous undertaking 
"which Heaven was pleased to protect and crown with success. But 
there is no tongue to express what it deserves, nor hand to remune 
rate its services. Who is there competent to relate what all and 
each of its individuals have performed; the actions which have sig 
nalized many of the soldiers and chiefs, especially the first, who ani 
mated the rest? What reward can we give them, or what can recom 
pense their benefits? as Tobias the youth demanded of his father, 
speaking of his benefactor. We have no other choice, inasmuch as 
reward is impossible, but to manifest to them our gratitude; to which 
nd many steps have been taken, and others will continue to be taken* 
Finally, the bonds which the Junta has proposed to itself in order 
insure and prolong our independence, are, besides the union of 
e inhabitants of the empire, which constitutes one of the guarantees, 
n alliance, federation, and commerce, with other nations. The 
Spanish nation, to whom we owe our origin, and to whom we are at- 
ached by the closest ties, ought to be the first and most privileged in 
ur consideration. We do not content ourselves with the mere fa- 
ily connection which results from calling one of their princes of the 
>yal blood to our empire. We aspire to more; we desire to unite 
urselves in a fraternity which may turn to the advantage of the 
hole nation, and let it know that our political independence, to 
hich we have been compelled by the causes set forth, does not loosen 
ic bonds which unite us, nor cool our affections, which ought to be 
ic more sincere, in order to destroy all resentment. 
We desire, then, that our fraternity may be made known to the 
hole world: that European Spaniards, in virtue of that title alone, 
lay domiciliate themselves in our country, subjecting themselves to 
,ts laws, and under the inspection of our government; that our ports 
ay be opened to them for the purposes of trade in such a manner as 
ay be arranged by our laws, and that a preference may be given to 
em, as far as possible, above other nations; that there may be es- 
blished between them and us, if practicable and agreeable to them, 
good reciprocal understanding, regulated by definitive treaties; 
id that in every thing there may appear the most cordial amity, 
ith regard to foreign nations we shall preserve harmony with all, 
ercial relations and others, as may be expedient. 



The junta congratulates itself that the people of the empire will 
perceive, in what has been set forth, at least their wishes for a suc 
cessful result, which they expect from the patriotism arid intelligence 
of the inhabitants, who may suggest to it whatever they deem condu 
cive to a better government, which the junta will hold in due consi 




MEXICO, 13th October, 1821.